Man Sentenced to 27 Years for Killing Hae Soon “June” Lim, Owner of Grace Deli on H Street

Grace Deli, 701 H Street, NE

From MPD:

Steven Williams, 47, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 27 years in prison for the June 2012 slaying of Hae Soon Lim, the owner of a Northeast Washington delicatessen, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

Williams pled guilty to a charge of second-degree murder while armed in April 2013 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He was sentenced by the Honorable Robert E. Morin. Upon completion of his prison term, Williams will be placed on five years of supervised release.

According to the government’s evidence, Ms. Lim, 64, was found by police on June 14, 2012, at about 6:15 a.m., on the floor of her delicatessen, Grace’s Deli, in the 700 block of H Street NE. Her vehicle was found parked directly outside. An autopsy determined that Ms. Lim died from a single gunshot wound that entered through the back of her neck.

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has a crime surveillance camera located a block away from the delicatessen at 8th and H Streets NE. A review of the video from the camera showed that a vehicle consistent with the appearance of the vehicle belonging to Ms. Lim pulled up and parked in front of the deli at about 5:25 a.m. on June 14, 2012. The video also shows a single person, believed to be the victim, leaving the vehicle and walking toward the restaurant.

The video then shows, moments later, a single person crossing H Street rapidly on foot, moving toward the front entrance of the restaurant, where that person then proceeds to interact in close proximity with the person believed to be Ms. Lim.

An empty, brown handgun holster was found on the floor directly next to Ms. Lim’s body. DNA from that holster revealed a match to the defendant. Williams’s DNA was also recovered from an empty cash register located inside the restaurant, behind the counter and out of reach from the customer area.

The store never opened that morning and has been shuttered ever since. Williams, an occasional customer at the store who had previously met Ms. Lim, was charged with the murder in November 2012. He has previously been convicted of other violent crimes, including assault with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, and two instances of robbery with a deadly weapon.

“With a single gunshot, this career criminal senselessly executed a beloved deli owner,”said U.S. Attorney Machen. “Thankfully, DNA allowed us to connect this killer to the crime scene, driving him to accept responsibility for his brutal crime. We can only hope that this lengthy prison sentence brings some measure of comfort to Ms. Lim’s family and others who loved her.”

“This was a horrific crime against an innocent victim,” said Police Chief Lanier. “A combination of the use of technology, forensics, and diligent investigative work of our detectives led to the closure of this case. It is our hope that this sentencing brings some comfort to the Lim family.”

In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen and Chief Lanier praised the work of those who investigated the case for the MPD. They also expressed appreciation for the work performed by the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences. Finally, they commended the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael C. Liebman and Justin Dillon, who investigated and prosecuted the matter.

18 Comment

  • jim_ed

    I’m sorry, but if killing an innocent senior citizen in the commission of a robbery and an extensive history of violent crime aren’t enough to warrant life without parole in this city, then what is?

    It’s a joke that this guy will almost certainly be released from prison one day.

  • when you cant use the death penalty as leverage and then life w/o parole as a plea bargain you are left with these easy sentences.

    • I would hardly call 27 years an easy sentence, even if it does wind up being less time.

      • That’s not the point. The point is that, given the nature of the crime, this guy should never see the feeling of freedom ever again. He could easily live until 74 and be released. And that’s the real crime here.

  • Props to the prosecutors? I can’t agree with this. 27 years is a disgrace considering his history. This animal has been arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and armed robbery. He has sufficiently proven by his actions that he cannot be a civilized member of society.

    The fact that Williams can potentially be released into society shows just how broken DC’s criminal justice system is.

  • 27 years?! When will this scum be eligible for parole? This sentencing is a total disgrace!

  • Why do we never ever see life in prison for murderers in DC?

  • We don’t have parole in DC. He has to serve at least 85% of the sentence.

    He pleaded guilty to second degree murder, which carries a base sentence of 235-293 months. Pleading guilty gets that reduced somewhat, and his long criminal history and gets it increased some. 27 years is almost certainly the sentence prescribed by the guidelines.

    • Well then the guidelines are screwed up and need to be revised. It is unconscionable that a such a sorry excuse for a human being may see the light of day outside of prison.

  • He’s 47…27 years IS life, he gets out when he’s 74 if he makes it to that age.

  • This is pathetic. If we had stricter sentencing in the first place for violent non-lethal crimes, senseless deaths like this wouldn’t happen. He had at least four prior violent crime convictions? FOUR? And he was still allowed to see the light of day? Also 27 years is a joke. This guy should be locked up for the rest of his life. Our justice system is unbelievably broken.

Comments are closed.