You owe me to be a productive citizen of our community,” mother of Robert Spencer says at William Hogan’s Sentencing

Judge Ronna Beck sentenced William Hogan to 15 years in prison Friday for the September 2013 shooting death of 21-year-old Robert Spencer.

There could have been a conviction here that would have given the defendant more time in prison,” Judge Beck said Friday.

Turning to Hogan she said, “I hope you understand that what you did was useless and senseless.”

Spencer was found by police on September 17, 2013 at approximately 10:22 pm suffering from a gunshot wound on the 100 block of Irvington St. Southwest. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Twelve days later Hogan, 28, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder while armed in Spencer’s death. In November, he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder while armed in connection with the case.

Spencer’s mother, Tina Spencer, addressed the court at sentencing Friday.

With tears running down her face she expressed the pain of losing her son and the pain of seeing “young people in the street who think taking a life is an option.”

Turning to Hogan, she said, “You owe me. When you do get out you owe me to be a productive citizen of our community. You get that chance that you didn’t give my son.”

Hogan would be 43 years old when released if he were to serve his entire sentence.

Added Spencer, “I forgive you with all my heart.”

For the majority of the sentencing Hogan cried quietly, often wiping tears from his eyes.

Reading from a hand written letter, Hogan apologized to Spencer’s family.

No mother deserves to lose their son,” Hogan said. “I thank you for forgiving me. I didn’t want to kill him, but if there is anything I can do for you, I will.”

Plea documents state that the night of the murder Hogan, also known as “Goose,” grabbed a shotgun and approached Spencer and another individual. Hogan pointed the shotgun, made a comment, and fired one shot at Spencer, then fled, documents state.

Hogan’s defense attorney, Kia Spears, said Friday that Hogan has been remorseful and apologetic for what he did, and that he saved Spencer’s family from a lengthy trial by pleading guilty before being indicted.

But prosecutors argued that Hogan unnecessarily armed himself and shot Spencer, whose death was a tragic loss which had no clear motive.

A press release is below.

United States Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia
U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr.

Friday, January 10, 2014
Public Affairs

Maryland Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison
For 2013 Murder in Southwest Washington
-Defendant Fired Shotgun, Hitting Unintended Victim-

WASHINGTON – William Hogan, 28, of Oxon Hill, Md., was sentenced today to a prison term of 15 years for killing a man last year in Southwest Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

Hogan pled guilty in November 2013, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to second-degree murder while armed. He was sentenced by the Honorable Ronna L. Beck. Upon completion of his prison term, Hogan will be placed on five years of supervised release.

According to the government’s evidence, on Sept. 17, 2013, at about 10 p.m., Hogan was in a courtyard in the 100 block of Irvington Street SW. He had engaged in an earlier conflict with individuals in the area, and had armed himself with a loaded shotgun. Hogan walked out of the courtyard and approached the victim, Robert Spencer, 21, and another individual who was in the area. Hogan pointed the shotgun, made a comment, and then fired one shot that hit Mr. Spencer. Mr. Spencer died as a result of numerous gunshot wounds, as the shotgun was loaded with buckshot. Hogan then fled the area and discarded the weapon.

Hogan was arrested Sept. 29, 2013 and interviewed by detectives with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). He told police that he shot Mr. Spencer and that he discarded the shotgun after the murder. By all accounts, Mr. Spencer was not the target of the earlier conflict that took place in the area, and by Hogan’s own admission, he was not his intended target.

In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended those who worked on 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 Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Worm, who prosecuted the matter.

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