Cosby, 49, was arrested on a charge of second-degree murder moments after the stabbing when police found Morris lying on a porch in the 300 block of Bryant Street Northeast. Cosby was standing nearby, holding a knife covered in blood.
Cosby wiped the tears from her eyes Friday as she addressed the court at the sentencing hearing.
“I’d like to apologize to the Morris family,” Cosby said. “I’d also like to ask for their forgiveness because I truly didn’t mean to do it. I was under the influence of drugs. I regret it every day; I think about it all the time.”
Cosby pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter while armed in November.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Shana Fulton said Friday that the government initially had reservations about agreeing to a plea because of Cosby’s history of violence and drug use. Cosby’s defense attorney contacted prosecutors about a plea deal before the government’s investigation had even reached a point where they could offer a plea. The government decided to accept the plea because Cosby never denied stabbing Morris, Fulton said.
According to the plea agreement, at around 6 p.m. on Sept. 13, 2012, Morris, Cosby and a third person were in the 2200 block of 4th Street Northeast when they began arguing over drugs. The argument quickly turned into a physical fight between Morris and the third person, which Morris seemed to be winning. Cosby then joined the fight and hit Morris.
Cosby “pretty much put herself in the middle of it,” Fulton said.
In retaliation, Morris hit Cosby, and then Cosby pulled out a knife and stabbed Morris in the left side of his upper torso.
Cosby then chased Morris from 4th Street to the 300 block of Bryant Street NE, screaming death threats, with Morris bleeding profusely along the way. Plea documents state that when they reached the porch where Morris was later found, Cosby stabbed him again.
“So much blood had drained from his body that by the time of the autopsy there was no blood left in his body,” Fulton said.
Several of Morris’ family members spoke in court Friday. Morris was someone who “could always be counted on to make others laugh,” his niece, April Foreman, said.
Cosby’s defense attorney, Liyah Brown, asked for Cosby to be sentenced to eight years in prison because of her troubled upbringing and problems with addiction. At the time of the murder, Cosby was “strung out on heroin, crack cocaine, and other substances,” Brown told the court.
“This is a woman who has struggled with addiction for the last 35 years,” Brown said.
Before reading the terms of his ruling Judge Motley said that while the sentence could not bring back Morris’ life, “I can stop this from happening to someone else.”
“I know your life has been tragic,” Motley said to Cosby. “But you have to take responsibility at some point.”
A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and sentencing documents are below.
District Woman Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison On Charges in Two Stabbings, Including One That Killed a Man
-Attacks Took Place in Northeast Washington-
WASHINGTON – Quindetta Cosby, 49, of Washington, D.C. was sentenced today to 16 years in prison for carrying out two stabbing attacks last year in Northeast Washington, including one that killed a man, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Cosby pled guilty in November 2012 to one count of voluntary manslaughter while armed and one count of felony assault with significant bodily injury. She was sentenced by the Honorable Thomas J. Motley. Upon completion of her prison term, Cosby will be placed on eight years of supervised release.
In the fatal attack, according to the government’s evidence, on Sept. 13, 2012, Cosby got into an argument at about 6:20 p.m. with the victim, Paul Morris, in the 2200 block of Fourth Street NE. Cosby’s friend also got involved in the argument, which escalated into a physical fight. Mr. Morris, 49, and Cosby’s friend threw punches at each other. Cosby joined the fight, which her friend was losing, and hit Mr. Morris. Mr. Morris struck Cosby, knocking her down.
Cosby then pulled out a knife and stabbed Mr. Morris in the left side of his upper torso. Mr. Morris fled into the 300 block of Bryant Street, NE, while dripping blood from the stab wound. Cosby chased Mr. Morris while screaming threats to kill him. When Mr. Morris retreated to a porch on the street, Cosby kept following him, threatened again to kill him, and stabbed him on the porch. Mr. Morris died shortly thereafter.
The other attack took place on July 16, 2012. In that incident, Cosby got into an argument with a woman in an apartment in the 600 block of Edgewood Street NE. The argument spilled into the hallway, where she pushed the victim to the floor. Cosby attacked the victim with a knife, resulting in a significant cut to the victim’s arm.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of the detectives and officers of the Criminal Investigations Division and the Fifth District of the Metropolitan Police Department. He also expressed appreciation to those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Bridget Fitzpatrick, Victim Witness Advocate Tamara Ince and Paralegal Specialist Marian Russell. Finally, U.S. Attorney Machen praised Assistant U.S. Attorney Shana Fulton, who prosecuted the case.