Updated with a copy of the plea agreement at 4:27 p.m.
Deon Thornton pleaded guilty this morning to fatally stabbing his older brother in the lobby of an Adams Morgan apartment building earlier this month.
Thornton, 21, was due in court today for a preliminary hearing in the case. Instead he agreed to plea guilty to voluntary manslaughter while armed, a charge that could earn him up to thirty years in prison.
Prosecutors had alleged that Thornton and his brother Derrick Thornton had been drinking on Feb. 11 at the Champlain Street, NW apartment where they both lived when they got into an argument. Later, as Derrick Thornton spoke with two people in the apartment building’s lobby, Deon Thornton approached him with a knife, ultimately throwing the mens’ grandmother out of the way in order to better reach Derrick Thornton and stab him.
Derrick Thornton, 22, died that same night after being stabbed multiple times in the chest, including a wound to his heart, according to court documents.
Asked by Judge Gerald Fisher if the government’s telling of the incident was correct, Deon Thornton replied “yes.”
Thornton is due in court for sentencing April 29. His sentence could range from probation to 30 years imprisonment, Fisher said.
Charging documents in the case are here.
An early copy of the plea agreement is below. A copy with signatures will replace this one as soon as it is available.