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Press Release

Maryland Man Sentenced to More Than 22 Years in Prison For Fatally Stabbing Acquaintance

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

Defendant Followed Victim’s Car, Stabbed Him After Vehicle Crashed

            WASHINGTON – Herbert Smallwood, 42, of Suitland, Maryland, was sentenced today to 275 months in prison for stabbing an acquaintance last year in Southeast Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Smallwood pleaded guilty on April 4, 2022, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to a charge of second-degree murder while armed. The Honorable Milton C. Lee, Jr. accepted the plea and sentenced Smallwood accordingly. Following his prison term, Smallwood will be placed on five years of supervised release.

            According to the government’s evidence, on June 30, 2021, at approximately 7 p.m., Smallwood was traveling in an SUV that was following another vehicle being driven by an acquaintance. The other vehicle, a Ford Focus, crashed and flipped over in the rear of the 1600 block of 17th Place SE. Smallwood got out of the SUV with a knife and stabbed the victim, Joseph Ogundoju, approximately 31 times. Mr. Ogundoju, 46, died a short time later.

            Surveillance video shows Smallwood’s vehicle following Mr. Ogundoju’s vehicle immediately before it crashed. The victim’s blood also was found on Smallwood’s clothing. Smallwood was arrested on June 30, 2021. He has been in custody ever since.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Graves and Chief Contee commended the work of the Metropolitan Police Department, which investigated the case. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Advocate Latrice Washington-Williams and Paralegal Specialist Grazy Rivera. Finally, they expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Ganjei, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Updated February 10, 2023

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-73