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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 18, 2016

Two Men Sentenced to Prison Terms For Murder of Man in Southwest Washington

One Carried Out Shooting, Other Was an Accessory

            WASHINGTON – Dominique Holmes, 25, and Gregory Smithwick, 23, both of Washington, D.C., were sentenced today to prison terms of 28 years and six years, respectively, after earlier pleading guilty to charges stemming from the murder of a man in Southwest Washington, U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips announced.

            Both men pled guilty in January 2016 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.  Holmes pled guilty to one charge of second-degree murder while armed as well as a charge of armed robbery in an unrelated case. Smithwick pled guilty to acting as an accessory after the fact to armed carjacking in a crime leading up to the murder.

            The guilty pleas, which were contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for prison sentences of between 25 and 30 years for Holmes and between five and eight years for Smithwick. The Honorable Lynn Leibovitz accepted the pleas and sentenced the defendants accordingly. Upon completion of their prison terms, the men will be placed on five years of supervised release.

             According to the government’s evidence, on Oct. 10, 2014 at approximately 6:30 a.m., Holmes carried out a carjacking in the 2000 block of 37th Street SE.  Holmes picked up Smithwick almost immediately after the carjacking.  Smithwick got into the driver’s seat and drove away, helping Holmes escape from the area. Approximately 40 minutes after the carjacking, Holmes arrived in the carjacked vehicle in the 100 block of Ivanhoe Street SW.  Holmes went up to the apartment unit of the victim, Ricky Kelly. Mr. Kelly, 29, was about to take his children to school, and they were in his car parked just outside of the apartment building.  Mr. Kelly was alone inside the apartment.  Holmes shot Mr. Kelly nine times with a 9mm handgun inside his apartment.  He and Smithwick then fled the scene in the carjacked vehicle.

             Shortly after the murder, the carjacked vehicle was spotted, and Smithwick and Holmes led officers on a high-speed chase that ended near Alabama Avenue and 32nd Place SE.  Holmes and Smithwick were both immediately arrested.  

            The armed robbery charge stems from an attack carried out by Holmes early Sept. 27, 2014, in the area of 41st Street and Alabama Avenue SE. The victim was walking toward his parked car. Holmes, who was carrying what appeared to be a firearm, approached the man and demanded that he empty his pockets. The victim turned over his iPhone, some cash, and the keys to the vehicle. Holmes then drove away in the car with the victim’s belongings.

             In announcing the sentences, U.S. Attorney Phillips 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 Specialist Lashone Samuels; Victim/Witness Advocates M. Laverne Forrest, Wanda Queen, and Marcia Rinker; Investigative Analyst Zachary McMenamin; Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen Rickard and Lauren Bates, who provided appellate guidance, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kendra Briggs, Richard DiZinno, and Jeffrey Nestler, who prosecuted the case.

Press Release Number: 
16-044
Updated March 18, 2016