A young DC man and his mother were both sentenced today for crimes connected to the fatal beating that killed Carlos Bernard Alexander, a 47-year-old man with a severe heart condition.
Daquan Johnson, who was 18-year-old when he was arrested about two weeks after Alexander died, was sentenced to ten years in prison by Judge Gerald Fisher. Johnson pleaded guilty in May to voluntary manslaughter and robbery in the case.
His mother, who gave the grand jury an untrue alibi about Johnson’s whereabouts the night of the murder and tried to convince other witnesses to lie to the grand jury, too, was sentenced to two years in prison. Her sentence was suspended on the condition that she complete two years of supervised probation.
His friend, Anthony Clark, was sentenced Thursday to eight and a half years after pleading guilty to one count of voluntary manslaughter and one count of robbery. Clark, now 17, was charged as an adult in the case.
Johnson’s proffer of evidence in the case states that he was “among a group of individual who encountered the decedent, Carlos Bernard Alexander, in or near the 700 block of 21st Street in Northeast, Washington D.C. Defendant Daquan Johnson then participated in beating the decedent… As he lay motionless on the ground, defendant Daquan Johnson then participated in going through the decedent’s pockets and took his wallet, cell phone, and car keys. The group then walked away, leaving the decedent lying in the courtyard in the 700 block of 21st Street.”
“There is no excuse for what happened. They beat him and robbed him. But they didn’t mean to kill him,” Johnson’s attorney, Michael O’Keefe, told the court. “There was no intent to kill this man.”
O’Keefe said Johnson’s mother had a “significant illness” at the time that the crime occurred and that Johnson felt like he was “taking care of his mother” when he participated in the robbery.
Cassandra Alexander, Carlos Bernard Alexander’s sister, spoke at the hearing of the pain her family has experienced from her brother’s violent death.
“Bernard was my only brother,” she said. “We was real close. It just hurts. Bernard was a lovely man.”
Telling Fisher that Bernard Alexander would have just celebrated a birthday, she asked that in his sentence Fisher find “mercy” for her brother.
In court Friday, Johnson apologized to Casandra Alexander and said the five months he has spent in jail during the court proceedings has made him a “man” and has readied him to take responsibility for the crime.
“I’m not the same kid no more, I’m a man now,” he said. “I took good advice through my whole time locked up. I’m not the same Daquan Johnson no more. I don’t never want to go through this again. I want to be an example, a role model. I want people to say ‘he got locked up for this but he’s a changed person. He’s a changed man.’… This ain’t no juvenile time no more. I gotta accept my responsibility.”
Johnson also apologized to AUSA Erin Lyons, who prosecuted the case.
“There was a lot of misunderstanding. A lot of lying. A lot of confusion going on. I’m sorry for lying. The whole thing, it was just a big accident. I’m sorry,” he said.
A press release on the case from the US Attorney’s office is below.
District Teenagers Sentenced to Prison Terms in 2010 Slaying- Mother of One Defendant Also Sentenced for Obstructing Justice -
WASHINGTON— Two teenagers, both from Washington, D.C., were sentenced this week to prison terms of 8 ½ years and 10 years for their roles in the robbery and beating death of a 49-year-old man last year, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced today.
Daquan Johnson (also known as Quan), 19, and Anthony Clark (also known as Fat Man), 17, pled guilty in May 2011 to manslaughter and robbery charges. They were sentenced in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia by the Honorable Gerald I. Fisher.
Judge Fisher sentenced Johnson today to a total of 10 years of incarceration. He sentenced Clark on July 7, 2011 to 8 ½ years of imprisonment.
Johnson also pled guilty to a charge of conspiring to obstruct justice by working with his mother, Sonja Johnson, to obtain false alibi witnesses. Sonja Johnson, 44, was also sentenced today to a total of 24 months of imprisonment, all suspended on the condition she complete two years of supervised probation. She had pled guilty to conspiracy to obstruct justice and perjury.
The victim, Carlos Bernard Alexander, was found dead on the morning of February 3, 2010 in a courtyard filled with heavy snow in the 700 block of 21st Street NE. An autopsy revealed that he had died as a result of complications from severe injuries he received from a beating. The government’s investigation revealed that Anthony Clark and Daquan Johnson, together with several other young men, kicked and punched Mr. Alexander repeatedly after knocking him to the ground. They then went through Mr. Alexander’s pockets, robbing him of his wallet, car keys, and cell phone. The government’s investigation also revealed that Anthony Clark and Daquan Johnson used the victim’s cell phone after it was taken, and that Daquan Johnson drove the victim’s car until it was towed from the block where Johnson lived.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended those who worked on the case from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), including Detectives Brian Wise, Hosam Nasr, Thomas Braxton, Michael Pepperman, Kennis Weeks, Lee Littlejohn, Travis Barton, Kenneth Arrington, Amber Chesla, Bryan Kasul, King Watts, Christopher MacWilliams, and Don Juan Monroe; Mobile Crime Technicians Tina Ramadhan, Dwayne Mitchell, Natasha Pettus, Keith Slaughter, Michael DePrince, Tony Nwani, Fred Brown, Brenda Floyd, Trina Bruce, and Ralph Nitz; Sgts. Joseph Haggerty, Jacob Lipscomb, Jeffrey Labofish, and Christopher Petz, and Officers Thomas Ellingsworth, Dereck Phillip, Kevin Harding, Jason Bagshaw, Paris White, Jeffrey Zumwalt, Michael Pokladnik, Duane Davis, Steven Prade, Darrell Young, and Konrad Olszak.
He also acknowledged the work of MPD Fingerprint Analyst Hayward Bennett, Trace Evidence Analyst Harold Deadman and DNA Analyst Nicole Kaye, as well as of Deputy Avon Jackson of the U.S. Marshals Service and Dr. Sunil Prashar of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the District of Columbia.
Finally, U.S. Attorney Machen praised those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Investigators Durand Odom and John Marsh; Intelligence Analyst Lawrence Grasso; Shawn Slade of the Victim Witness Assistance Unit; Specialists Leif Hickling, Paul Howell, and William Henderson of the Litigation Technology Unit; Paralegal Specialists Kwasi Fields, Ethel Gregory, and Sharon Newman; and Victim Advocate Marcey Rinker. He also commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin O. Lyons, who indicted the case and prepared it for trial before the defendants plead guilty, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Gee, who also helped prepare the case for trial.