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Press Release

Jury Finds District Man Guilty of Armed Burglary and Multiple Armed Assaults for Attack on Woman and Child

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia

            WASHINGTON –Sean Branch, 31, of Washington, D.C., has been found guilty by a jury of first-degree burglary while armed, two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and other charges in a morning home invasion and violent assault of a woman and her twelve-year-old son that took place in Southeast Washington D.C. on September 11, 2020, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Chief Pamela Smith of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Branch was also found guilty of three counts of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, one count of second-degree cruelty to children, and two counts of threats to do bodily harm. The verdict was returned on July 3, 2024, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Honorable Michael O’Keefe presided over the trial. A sentencing date has not yet been set. Branch faces a mandatory minimum of five years’ imprisonment for his offenses.

            According to the government’s evidence, Branch had developed a friendship with the adult victim in the summer of 2020, which led to Branch storing belongings in her apartment. In the days leading up to the offense, Branch and the adult victim argued over whether Branch could continue to store his belongings there. On September 11, 2020, shortly after 8:30 a.m., Branch broke into the apartment of the victims. After breaking into the home through an exterior window, Branch, wearing a ski mask, approached the woman and her child in the living room. He struck the woman in the face with the gun, causing her to bleed extensively, and then dragged them to the back bedroom while repeatedly demanding his belongings. Branch eventually pointed the gun at the child’s head and threatened to kill both victims. Branch then fled the scene. The victims identified the assailant based on the assailant’s voice and the context of the offense.

            Officers with the Metropolitan Police Department recovered surveillance footage showing the assailant fleeing from the ground floor balcony, wearing a ski mask. Officers also recovered a pair of sweatpants and jacket along the defendant’s flight path that was consistent with the assailant’s appearance on video. Branch was eventually linked to the recovered clothing through DNA testing.

            This case was investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle White who indicted the case in 2021.

            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Covert and Katharine Yaske of the Domestic Violence Unit.

Updated July 8, 2024

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-559