Photo by PoPville flickr user ep_jhu
Anthony Butler, 51, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 13 years and 10 months in prison on charges stemming from the armed robbery of a woman last fall in Northwest Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Butler was found guilty in March 2013 by a jury in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia on charges of armed robbery, carrying a dangerous weapon, felony threats, and possession of an open container of alcohol. He was sentenced by the Honorable A. Franklin Burgess, Jr. Butler, who has previous convictions for robbery, carjacking and other crimes, is to be placed on five years of supervised release following his prison term. In announcing the sentence, Judge Burgess indicated that he wanted to keep Butler off the streets and keep the citizens of the District of Columbia safe. Butler also faces parole revocation.
According to the government’s evidence, the attack took place about 8 p.m. on Oct. 27, 2012, near the National Zoo. The victim was walking alone near Adams Mills Road and Walbridge Place NW, headed to a friend’s house for a dinner party, when Butler saw her. He got out of a large red pick-up truck that was blocking her path and pretended to ask for directions.
Butler quickly grabbed the woman’s arm, thrust a knife up to her stomach, and demanded her phone and purse. After he got those items, he demanded her necklace. When she couldn’t get her necklace off fast enough, Butler yelled at her to take it off or he would kill her. After robbing her, he told her to run in the opposite direction and again threatened her if she didn’t comply.
Butler then took off in the pick-up truck. The victim was left on the side of the street without a phone, any money, and the keys to her house. She ran down the street and flagged down a motorist who allowed her in his car, and together they called 911. About 10 minutes later, officers with the Metropolitan Police Department’s Robbery Intervention Program spotted a truck matching the description of the one Butler was using near a gas station at Georgia and Missouri Avenues NW. Officers found the victim’s belongings spread around the truck; Butler had a knife. The victim identified Butler and the knife. He was arrested. At the Fourth District Police Station, the woman’s identification was found in his pocket. At trial, Butler argued that he had merely found the purse on the side of the road.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of those who investigated the case from the MPD. He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Debra McPherson, Litigation Technology Specialist Paul Howell, and Victim/Witness Advocate Jennifer Clark. Finally, he praised the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Natalia Medina, who investigated and prosecuted the case.