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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 25, 2018

Virginia Man Sentenced to 94 Years to Life in Prison For Triple Homicide in Northeast Washington in 1991

Shootings Took Place in Langdon Park Following Drug Dispute

            WASHINGTON – Benito Valdez, 47, formerly of Arlington, Va., was sentenced today to a term of 94 years to life in prison for killing three people in 1991 in Northeast Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Valdez was found guilty by a jury in February 2018 of multiple counts of first-degree murder while armed, three counts of kidnapping while armed and one count of sodomy while armed. The verdict followed a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He was sentenced by the Honorable Judith Bartnoff. 

            According to the government’s evidence, in the early morning hours of April 23, 1991, Curtis Pixley, Keith Simmons, and Samantha Gillard went to Langdon Park in the 1800 block of Franklin Street NE to purchase crack cocaine. Mr. Pixley, 29, and Mr. Simmons, 26, approached Valdez while Ms. Gilliard, 23, waited at a distance. The drug deal went bad very quickly when Valdez accused Mr. Pixley of stealing drugs from him. Valdez threatened Mr. Pixley that he was going to pay for the drugs one way or another.  When Mr. Pixley could not pay with cash, Valdez raped Ms. Gillard at gunpoint.  Then, according to the government’s evidence, Valdez forced all three to lie on the ground and shot each one execution-style.

            Valdez was charged with the crimes in February 2016 and has been in custody.

            In announcing the sentences, U.S. Attorney Liu and Chief Newsham commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Cold Case Unit as well as the U.S. Park Police. They also expressed appreciation for the work of those who handled the case at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Stephanie Siegerist, Alesha Matthews, Meridith McGarrity, and Sharon Newman; Criminal Investigator Zachary McMenamin; Litigation Technology Specialist Leif Hickling, and Victim/Witness Advocate Diana Lim. Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laura A. Bach and Lindsey Merikas, who prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
18-128
Updated May 25, 2018