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Justice News

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

Friday, April 24, 2015

Maryland Man Sentenced to 24 1/2 Years in Prison For Murder of Girlfriend

Defendant Fled Apartment After Murder, Was Arrested the Following Day

            WASHINGTON – Kevin McDarrin Johnson, 52, of Landover, Md., was sentenced today to 24 ½ years in prison for killing his girlfriend last year at the apartment they shared in Southeast Washington, Acting U.S. Attorney Vincent H. Cohen, Jr. announced.

            Johnson pled guilty in February 2015, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to a charge of second-degree murder. The plea, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for a prison sentence between 20 and 26 years.  The Honorable Rhonda Reid Winston approved the plea and sentenced Johnson today. Upon completion of his prison term, Johnson will be placed on 10 years of supervised release.

            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 sentence, Acting U.S. Attorney Cohen 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 prosecuted the case.

Press Release Number: 
Updated April 24, 2015