District Man Pleads Guilty to Killing One Man, Wounding Another
WASHINGTON – John James, 26, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to charges stemming from a September 2015 shooting in Southeast Washington in which one man was killed and another was wounded, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu announced.
James pled guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to charges of voluntary manslaughter while armed and aggravated assault. The plea agreement, which is contingent upon the Court’s approval, calls for an agreed-upon sentence between 12 and 15 years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release. The Honorable Milton C. Lee scheduled sentencing for Jan. 25, 2019.
According to the government’s evidence, on Sept. 28, 2015, at approximately 7:30 p.m., James was playing a craps (or dice) game with several people in the 1100 block of Eaton Road SE, part of the Barry Farm neighborhood. Included in that game were Ernest Massenberg-Bey, 21, and the surviving victim. Following an argument at the game, James fired a pistol at Mr. Massenberg-Bey and the surviving victim, hitting each of them multiple times.
The gunshot wounds caused the death of Mr. Massenberg-Bey later that day. The gunshot wounds on the surviving victim caused multiple serious bodily injuries, including loss of a testicle and permanent nerve damage to his left hand and right foot. Following the shooting, James fled the scene. He was arrested in April 2016 and has been in custody ever since.
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Liu commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), including detectives of the Criminal Investigations Division Homicide Branch, crime scene officers, and officers from the Seventh Police District. She also expressed appreciation for the work of the U.S. Marshal’s Service.
She also expressed appreciation to those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Advocate Diana Lim; Paralegal Specialist Stephanie Siegerist; Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark Aziz and Silvia Gonzalez-Roman, who assisted with competency issues, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Bruckmann and Emily Miller, who investigated and prosecuted the case.
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