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Press Release

Maryland Man Sentenced to 75 ½ Years in Prison for 2011 Killing of Government Witness

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Second Victim Also Wounded in Attack

            WASHINGTON – Stanley Moghalu, 31, of Bowie, Md., was sentenced today to a 75 ½-year prison term for an attack that killed one man, who was a government witness, and wounded another man in Northeast Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Moghalu was found guilty by a jury in October 2017, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, of first-degree murder while armed with aggravating circumstances, assault with intent to kill, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and other charges.

            Before imposing the sentence, the Honorable José M. López stated that, “I agree with the government that the murder of a government witness is among the most serious crimes known to society.  Such crimes directly threaten the order of our criminal justice system.”   

            According to the government’s evidence, on Nov. 14, 2011, shortly after 5 p.m., Moghalu and an accomplice ambushed Ronald D. Smith and Charles Harrison at the intersection of 21st and M Streets, NE. Mr. Smith, 27, was killed in the attack. Mr. Harrison was shot nine times, losing the use of his right arm, but survived his injuries.

            An investigation determined that Mr. Smith was killed because he was a government witness in an investigation into the May 2011 murder of Ervin L. Griffin in the 1200 block of 18th Street NE. One defendant, David Warren, now 31, and formerly of Washington, D.C., was later found guilty of first-degree murder while armed and other charges in Mr. Griffin’s slaying and sentenced to 36 years in prison.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu and Chief Newsham commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura R. Bach; Lead Paralegal Specialist Meridith McGarrity; Paralegal Specialist Stephanie Gilbert; Intelligence Analyst Zachary McMenamin; Litigation Technology Specialist Leif Hickling, and Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker.

            Finally, they expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Glenn Kirschner and Gilead Light, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Updated February 23, 2018

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 18-47