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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 9, 2014

Two District Men Sentenced To Decades In Prison For Carjacking And Robberies Committed In Same Night-Third Defendant Sentenced To More Than Eight Years In Prison For Joining In Crimes-

     WASHINGTON – Rayshawn Clark, 25, and Dwayne Hilton, 22, both of Washington, D.C., were sentenced today to prison terms of 31 years and 25 years, respectively, for carrying out three separate armed robberies on the same night, as well as a carjacking of one of the victims, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

     A third man, Pernell Lee, 37, also of Washington, D.C., was sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison for participating in one of the robberies and acting as a getaway driver.

     The men were found guilty by a jury in February 2014, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. They were sentenced by the Honorable Anita Josey-Herring. Upon completion of their prison terms, they will be placed on five years of supervised release.

     The jury found Clark and Hilton guilty of conspiracy, three counts of armed robbery, armed carjacking, and firearms offenses. The jury found Lee guilty of one count of armed robbery, fleeing a law enforcement officer, reckless driving, and firearms offenses.

     According to the government’s evidence, the series of crimes began in the early morning hours of June 17, 2012. Clark and Hilton pistol-whipped, robbed and carjacked the first victim, a man, in the 5600 block of 14th Street NW. An unidentified third co-conspirator got away in the victim’s car.  A second man, who was walking by while the robbery was in progress, was pistol-whipped and robbed by Hilton, while Clark continued to hold the first victim at gunpoint. After obtaining property from both victims, Clark and Hilton took off in a dark Ford Explorer. 

     Minutes later, after the first victim had called 911, Clark and Hilton returned to the scene after realizing that during the robberies they dropped a cell phone – later determined to belong to Hilton.  Clark got out of the car, and with a gun drawn, demanded the dropped phone.  The victim, who had found and hidden the dropped phone, pretended to know nothing about it.  Clark then robbed the victim of his remaining belongings. 

     Officers with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) arrived as this robbery was concluding, and as Clark ran back to the Explorer to flee.  Following a chase, the Explorer flipped over.  Lee, who had been driving, ran and was caught after a foot chase. Clark was extracted from the flipped vehicle with the first victim’s property in his pocket.  Hilton escaped on foot and was arrested later. Two guns were recovered in and around the car.  Hilton’s DNA matched DNA found on one of the guns. 

     In a separate proceeding today, Hilton was sentenced to an additional two years in prison – to run consecutively to his other sentence – on a charge of assault with significant bodily injury. He pled guilty earlier this year to that charge, which stemmed from a stabbing at the District of Columbia Jail on Dec. 20, 2013. Hilton participated in the attack against another inmate.

     In announcing the sentences, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of those who investigated the robbery and carjacking case from the Metropolitan Police Department. He also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences. He acknowledged the efforts of those who provided assistance and handled the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chrisellen Kolb and Suzanne Curt, Deputy Chiefs of the Office’s Appellate Division; Victim/Witness Advocate Jennifer Clark; Criminal Investigators John Marsh and Stephen Cohen; Litigation Technology Specialist Leif Hickling, and Paralegal Specialists Deborah McPherson, Wanda Trice, and Todd McClelland. Finally, he commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Vivien Cockburn, who handled the initial investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Natalia Medina, who prosecuted the robbery and carjacking case at trial.

     U.S. Attorney Machen also expressed appreciation to those who handled the case involving the stabbing at the jail, including the District of Columbia Department of Corrections Office of Investigative Services, Paralegal Specialist Todd McClelland, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jin Park, who prosecuted that matter.

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Updated February 19, 2015