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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Ringleader Sentenced To More Than 20 Years In Prison Lawyer For His Role In Series Of Robberies And Attacks In 2012Defendant Armed Himself With Baseball Bat To Accost Two Victims On Same Night; Five Others Convicted Of Violent Offenses In Overall

     WASHINGTON – Leon Boyd, 39, the ringleader of a group of six men responsible for a series of armed robberies in 2012, was sentenced today to 20 years and 180 days in prison for robbing a man and attempting to rob a woman in separate incidents on the same night, both while he was armed with a baseball bat, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

     The attacks took place within just 20 minutes on the night of Aug. 12, 2012. In one attack, Boyd beat and robbed a man who was walking down a street, and in the other, he beat and attempted to rob a woman who was riding a bicycle. 

     Boyd, of Washington, D.C., was found guilty by a jury in June 2014, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, of armed robbery, assault with intent to rob while armed, and related offenses. He was sentenced by the Honorable Robert I. Richter. The prison time will run consecutively to a 10-year term that Boyd is now serving following his conviction on a related federal charge involving his unlawful possession of ammunition.

     This sentencing was the culmination of a two-year investigation by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and U.S. Attorney’s Office of a group of men who committed a series of violent armed robberies over the course of two weekends in August 2012.  A total of six men were convicted of robbery and related offenses in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

     “Leon Boyd led a group of young men who viciously beat and robbed vulnerable victims, showing no regard for the injuries they were causing,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “This sentence of 20 ½ years, on top of another 10-year prison term that Leon Boyd is now serving, will keep this dangerous man off our streets for decades.”

     Boyd was found guilty of charges stemming from the first two attacks.

     According to the government’s evidence, on Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, at approximately 11:30 p.m., a 23-year-old man was returning home from a weekend away.  As the man walked in the 100 block of 14th Street SE, carrying and wheeling his luggage, Boyd approached him. Armed with a baseball bat, Boyd beat and robbed the victim. A second man, Jon Charles Flowers, joined in the assault. They stole some luggage, cash, and a watch.  The two men then fled in a getaway car driven by a third man, Tommy Branch. The victim suffered head injuries.

     Boyd, Flowers, and Branch then drove to the vicinity of Cardozo High School in Northwest Washington, where they came upon a second victim at about 11:50 p.m. They spotted a 24-year-old woman who was riding her bicycle in the 100 block of 11th Street NW. Branch parked the car, and the three men got out. Flowers pushed the woman off the bicycle, and Boyd struck her twice in the face with a baseball bat, breaking her nose and eyeglasses. Branch joined in the attack. One of the assailants tried to steal the woman’s backpack, but she fought back ferociously while screaming. Flowers fled on foot and Boyd and Branch fled by car.

     Flowers, 27, of Washington, D.C., and Branch, 23, of Fort Washington, Md., pled guilty to charges stemming from the Aug. 12, 2012 attacks. Flowers was sentenced to five years in prison, and Branch was sentenced to a 3 ½-year prison term for these crimes.

     A similar set of crimes took place the following weekend.

     According to the government’s evidence, shortly after midnight, early in the morning of Aug. 18, 2012, Branch and two other accomplices – Sunny B. Kuti and Michael Moore – saw the victim, Thomas “T.C.” Maslin. Mr. Maslin was walking home and at the edge of a park near Independence and North Carolina Avenues SE. During the ensuing robbery, Mr. Maslin raised his hands and said that all he had was a phone and bank card. As the robbery continued, Kuti struck Mr. Maslin in the side of the head, temporarily stunning him. Moore pushed Mr. Maslin, and Branch struck him in the side of the head with a baseball bat.

     Branch and his accomplices took Mr. Maslin’s iPhone, bank card, and keys.  They then drove to a gas station in the 1200 block of Pennsylvania Avenue SE, a few blocks away from the robbery scene. Branch tried to use Mr. Maslin’s bank card to buy gasoline, but the card was refused because he did not know the cardholder’s zip code. 

     Following this attack, Branch, Kuti, and Moore drove to the Barry Farm area of Southeast Washington, where they met a fourth man, Darrin L. Beal. They then set off for the Adams Morgan area of Northwest Washington to commit a second robbery.

     At about 3:20 a.m., while Beal remained in the car, Branch, Moore, and Kuti, while armed with a non-functioning BB gun that resembled a real handgun, targeted three victims in an alley off of the 1800 block of 18th Street NW, violently assaulting one victim and taking a cellphone, wallet, and set of keys from another.  All three men were captured by MPD officers responding to the report of the robbery.

     Mr. Maslin was found, unconscious, by police at about 8:15 a.m. on Aug. 18, 2012, on the front porch of a rowhouse in the 700 block of North Carolina Avenue SE.  He had a massive fracture to his skull and bleeding throughout the brain cavity due to the blow from the bat.

     As the investigation of the robbery of Mr. Maslin progressed, law enforcement identified Branch, Moore, and Kuti as the three men who committed that attack. Also as a result of the investigation of the assault and robbery of Mr. Maslin, investigators identified Branch, Boyd, and Flowers as the three men who participated in the crimes that took place Aug. 12, 2012.

     Branch and Kuti subsequently were found guilty at trial of charges stemming from the attacks on Mr. Maslin and the other victims on Aug. 18, 2012. Branch, was sentenced to 24 ½ years in prison; this sentence runs consecutively to the prison term of 3½ years that he received for the other attacks. Kuti, 19, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

     Moore, 20, of Landover, Md., pled guilty to charges for his role in the crimes of Aug. 18, 2012, and was sentenced to a 4 ½-year prison term.

     Beal, 27, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty to conspiracy to commit a crime of violence for his role in the Aug. 18, 2012 crimes. He was sentenced to a 40-month prison term.

     In announcing today’s sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the efforts of the patrol officers, crime scene technicians, and detectives of the Metropolitan Police Department, who investigated the case.  He also commended the assistance of the Court Services and Offenders Supervision Agency and the Cellular Analysis Survey Team of the FBI.

     U.S. Attorney Machen also recognized the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Advocate Jennifer Clark; Victim/Witness Security Specialists Michael Hailey, Debra Cannon, and David Foster; Victim/Witness Services Coordinator La June Thames; Paralegal Specialists Jeanette Litz and Tameka Garcia; Litigation Technology Specialist Kimberly Smith; and Criminal Investigators Christopher Brophy, Durand Odom, and Derek Starliper. He also acknowledged the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Vincent Caputy and Darlene Soltys, who assisted with the investigation and prosecution of Boyd on federal charges; Assistant U.S. Attorneys Suzanne Curt, Katherine Kelly, Patricia Riley, and Peter Taylor, who provided legal research assistance, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jocelyn Ballantine and Clare Pozos, who assisted with the Branch and Kuti trials in Superior Court.

     Finally, he expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas P. Swanton, who has investigated and prosecuted these cases for more than two years.

            15-004


Updated February 19, 2015