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“Man Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison For Shooting an Acquaintance”

by Prince Of Petworth July 9, 2012 at 11:30 am 34 Comments

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From MPD:

Marcus A. Owens, 41, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to a seven-year prison term on charges stemming from a shooting that occurred in February 2012 in Northwest Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced. Owens pled guilty in March 2012, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to aggravated assault while armed with a firearm. He was sentenced by the Honorable Lynn Leibovitz. Upon completion of his prison term, Owens will be placed on five years of supervised release.

According to the government’s evidence, the victim, then 23, and Owens had met through mutual acquaintances. On February 1, 2012, at about 9:40 p.m., they were near the 800 block of Butternut Street NW, when Owens produced a 9mm firearm and pointed it at the man. Owens fired two shots into the victim’s stomach, another shot toward the victim’s head, grazing it, and finally a fourth shot into the victim’s foot. Witnesses observed Owens walking away from the crime scene carrying a firearm. Concerned citizens called 9-1-1 and an ambulance transported the victim to the hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery.

Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers who responded to the area observed Owens, who matched the description of the suspect from the shooting, enter a taxicab on nearby Georgia Avenue NW, together with a female companion. Police conducted a traffic stop of the taxi and observed a firearm on the back seat floor – under Owens’s foot. Shell casings that were recovered by police from the crime scene matched the caliber of the recovered firearm. The victim later identified Owens as the person who shot him. The victim had met Owens through mutual acquaintances.

In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of the detectives, patrol officers and crime scene officers who worked on the case from MPD. He also praised the efforts of Victim Witness Advocates Jennifer Clark and James Brennan and Paralegal Assistant Debra McPherson. Finally, he expressed appreciation to Assistant U.S. Attorney Terry Eaton, formerly of the Fourth District Unit of the Superior Court Felony Major Crimes Section, who prosecuted this case.

  • 7 years for attempted murder? lets bump that up judge to 15-20.

    • Gerry

      +1. Incredible – aggravated assault w/ a firearm? Fail.

  • Anonymous

    I’d like to hear an explanation as why the charges weren’t more severe than aggravated assault. He shot the guy four times and by luck/medical attention the person survived, so he gets off easy?

    • TG

      Because he pled guilty they most likely dropped the attempted murder charge. I am sure they also had a gun charge that they dropped.

      • rd

        but it sounds like a rock solid case. what were they scared of?

        • sb

          they were probably scared of one juror having a “reasonable” doubt–did the bullets really match the gun? Did the cops plant the gun? Was it self-defense? etc. And I don’t blame them for it.

        • Anonymous

          I understand accepting a plea when a conviction on the higher charge is questionable, but like you said the write up makes it look like a pretty clear case.

  • Anon

    He’ll be out in 3-4.

    • Criminal Defense Attorney

      This is a common misconception.

      In D.C. good time credits cannot reduce the time for a crime of violence by more than 15 percent see D.C. Code 24-221.01b. Sentences are handed down in months, 7 years equals 84 months. 15 percent of 84 months is 12.6. So basically if this person gets every good time credit available and has none revoked, his sentence could at most be reduced by a year and half. There are other complicating factors in the calculation that I don’t have time for here, and I don’t know all the facts nor have I read the plea papers, and I don’t know if this person received the mandatory minimum for committing a crime of violence while armed (sometimes waived in plea deals), but that is the general idea. Not commenting on the wisdom of the policy, but he won’t be out in 3-4.

      • anon

        thanks for the references!

      • good intell re info on sentence reductions for good behaviour, thanks.

  • While it is nice to have a lot of information about a case like this, one question unanswered is “why’d he do it?” A fight over something? Just saying they knew each other through friends isn’t really a reason..

  • TG

    This is a joke. I mean a goddamned joke.

  • Anonymous

    Lenient sentences – not just for juveniles!

  • 1300 BLK

    It’s just incredible. You can think whatever about this country’s prison system and the war on drugs and whatever, but violent criminals like this guy are THE REASON WHY PRISONS EXIST. And he’ll be out in 5? Unreal.

  • Anonymous

    Astounding that USA Machen is touting this failure an an accomplishment. If they don’t have the confidence to nail a would-be murderer with this kind of evidence, then I fear for the multitude of harder cases.

    • TG

      Well said.

    • TG

      And if I am Kwame Brown I am thinking … should have rolled the dice.

      • Criminal Defense Attorney

        Note that Kwame was facing federal charges, prosecuted in federal court for the District of D.C. Not D.C. superior court. Your odds of winning in federal court are much, much lower.

        • TG

          Isn’t it the same jury pool? Also, the rules of evidence are essentially the same. Is the quality of the judge’s and the prosecutor’s that different? I note the two very high profile losses for the government at 333 Constitution recently.

          • Criminal Defense Attorney

            The jury pool is not entirely the same, the computer database used to select potential jurors is somewhat different. However, in D.C. this matters less than in places where the federal jury pool covers many different municipalities. The rules of evidence are not the same, the rules of procedure are not the same, the case law is not the same, and in superior court heavily defendant friendly, the prosecutors are not the same (although both the superior court and the federal criminal division report to Manchen) and law enforcement officials (D.C. cops v. FBI) are not the same. You can bet dollars to doughnuts that the FBI had a rock solid paper trail on Kwame before he even knew he was being investigated, much less charged. Where as in superior court, by way of example, I have seen aggravated assault cases dismissed on the day of trial because the cops don’t show up to testify and the judge has 20 other cases set for trial that day and can’t wait.

  • Anonymous

    this is simply outrageous. I cannot believe this thug only got 7 years. I really have ZERO faith in DC’s judicial/penal system.

  • THJ

    For those who are interested to do more than vent on this blog:

    U.S. Attorney’s Office, Main line: 202-252-7566, [email protected]
    U.S. Attorney’s Office, 4D Community Prosecution: 202-715-7415
    DC Office of the Mayor: (202) 727-6300, [email protected]

    Some points to consider making:

    (1) Disappointment at the short term for such a serious crime
    (2) Disappointment at the unwillingness to prosecute, given the excellent evidence from the MPD
    (3) Concern about the detrimental effect on law enforcement and on public cooperation with the police, from the weakness in prosecution of such a serious offense
    (4) Demand for an explanation

  • I. Rex

    Can this include a category tag of “No props to the U.S. Attorney and Judge” for accuracy’s sake? How the hell is this not attempted murder? And how the hell is it only 7 years (which i assume means he can walk in 5).

  • Bdale Res

    He pleaded guilty because he a good christian man that knows it is wrong to lie. He had a few transgressions by listening to Lucifer, and he has realized it was wrong and pleaded guilty. It is a relief that the judge also practiced some good christian morals and gave the man what he deserved. I am sure his christian values will become so much stronger in prison, as he will have the opportunity to read the good book and really become close to the teachings of your lord and savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

    • Nate

      I’m sorry, but a “good christian man” doesn’t shoot someone 4 times and then walk away.

    • Alexa O’hara

      Mr. Res…Marcus is not a Christian….he is the devil and a murderer! Trust me I know….

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like there’s definitely more to the story that likely would have made for a messy trial. Two acquaintances just walking down the street when one suddenly shoots the other? Weird.

    • Anonymous

      How does that “definitely make for a messy trial”???

  • I guess I have lived here too long. I saw 7 years and thought, “how the hell did he get such a long sentence in DC?”

  • “Police conducted a traffic stop of the taxi and observed a firearm on the back seat floor – under Owens’s foot.”

    Excellent hiding place.

  • Alexa O’hara

    I am sickened by this verdict! Mr. Owens is a convicted felon with 3 gun charges!! 7 years??? I have no faith in our system what so ever! He shot that man with all intentions of killing him….7 years! I’m saddened by this. Mr. Owens is a violent man with a strong criminal mind…I was hoping for 25 years….he must have snitched or made a deal!!! Do sad…

  • Alexa O’hara

    Yes, I know Marcus…he was a boyfriend for some time…until I found out who he really was….and the extent of his criminal record. Marcus tried to kill me….maybe I should have went to court and told my story! His record is 15 pages long….look it up! That judge needs to be fired!!! I hope he rots in jail or someone takes his life….

  • Anon

    This guy needs to be executed. I know the victim – this was attempted murder plain and simple.

    Oh and the motive? ~$130.


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