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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Maryland Man Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder


In Strangulation of Girlfriend
-Defendant Fled Apartment After Murder, Was Arrested the Following Day-

     WASHINGTON – Kevin McDarrin Johnson, 52, of Landover, Md., pled guilty today to a charge of second-degree murder for killing his girlfriend last year at the apartment they shared in Southeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

     Johnson pled guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The plea, which is contingent upon the Court’s approval, calls for a prison sentence between 20 and 26 years.  The Honorable Rhonda Reid Winston scheduled sentencing for April 24, 2015.

     According to the government’s evidence, on Feb. 20, 2014, Johnson strangled his girlfriend, Detra Martin, 48, to death in the apartment they shared in the 800 block of Southern Avenue SE. After strangling her, Johnson left Ms. Martin in her bed, locked the bedroom door, and fled the apartment.  Johnson did not show up to work the next day.  Law enforcement acted swiftly, and arrested Johnson the day after the murder at a relative’s home in Maryland.

     In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of the detectives, officers, and others who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. He also expressed appreciation to the District of Columbia Office of the Medical Examiner.  Finally, he acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Lashone Samuels, Ethel Noble, and Meridith McGarrity; Victim/Witness Advocate Jennifer Clark; and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard DiZinno and Natalia Medina, who are prosecuting the case.

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Updated February 19, 2015