Skip to main content
Press Release

U.S. Citizen Sentenced to More Than 16 Years in Federal Prison for the Murder of His Mother, a Department of Defense Employee Working In Bahrain

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

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow sentenced Giovanni Pope, age 30, to 200 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release for the murder of his mother, a Department of Defense civilian employee working in Bahrain.

The federal charge was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Special Agent in Charge John Parkinson of the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Middle East Field Office; and Acting Special Agent in Charge R. Joseph Rothrock of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.

On November 3, 2023, Pope pleaded guilty to second degree murder in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.  According to the plea agreement, on January 31, 2021, Pope killed his mother in the apartment they shared in Bahrain, by stabbing her with a knife he obtained from the kitchen.  At the time, Pope’s mother was employed as a United States Department of the Navy civilian employee, assigned to Naval Support Activity, Bahrain, and Pope was living with her as a dependent. 

As detailed in court documents, after fatally stabbing his mother, Pope cleaned her body and removed evidence of the murder from the apartment.  He then left in his mother’s car.  He was apprehended by Bahraini authorities on February 1, 2021.  Pope admitted to law enforcement that he got a knife from the kitchen, went into the living room where his mother was seated, and fatally stabbed her.  Pope further admitted that after killing his mother, he purchased an airline ticket to return to the United States, departing on the morning of February 2, 2021. 

On February 11, 2021, Pope was ordered detained and removed from Bahrain to the United States pursuant to the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act.  On March 4, 2021, Pope was charged by indictment in the District of Maryland with one count of Murder while Employed by or Accompanying the Armed Forces Outside the United States.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron and Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri commended the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the FBI for their work in the investigation and thanked the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs for its assistance.  Mr. Barron and Ms. Argentieri thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney P. Michael Cunningham and Trial Attorney Brian Morgan of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section, who prosecuted the case.  

# # #

Updated March 19, 2024

Violent Crime