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Press Release

Maryland Man Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison for Killing Man in Southeast Washington

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Shooting Happened in Broad Daylight Following Dispute Over Drugs

            WASHINGTON – Thomas Joyner, 23, of Greenbelt, Md., was sentenced today to a 16-year prison term for killing a man in broad daylight in September 2016 in Southeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu announced.

            Joyner pled guilty in February 2018, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to a charge of second-degree murder while armed. The plea, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for a prison sentence of 16 years. The Honorable Danya A. Dayson accepted the plea and sentenced Joyner accordingly. Following completion of his prison term, Joyner will be placed on five years of supervised release.

            According to the government’s evidence, at about 1:50 p.m. on Sept. 6, 2016, Joyner was in the area of the 2500 block of Pomeroy Road SE, and he was armed with a gun. Prior to the shooting, Joyner was coming down from the top of the stairs that led from Elvans Road to Pomeroy Road and got into an argument with the victim, Joe Cook, over a quantity of marijuana. Joyner than brandished his firearm and shot Mr. Cook in the back. After shooting Mr. Cook, Joyner walked past him, then turned and shot him several more times. Mr. Cook, 35, was unconscious when emergency personnel arrived on the scene and was pronounced dead a short time later at a hospital. An autopsy identified 16 different gunshot wounds on his body.

            In the aftermath of the shooting, Joyner confessed to associates both verbally and on social media that he had shot Mr. Cook.

            In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Liu commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. She also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Lornce Applewhite, Victim/Witness Advocate Diana Lim, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsey Merikas, who investigated and prosecuted the matter.

Updated May 25, 2018

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 18-129