Donte Graves Pleads Guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter After a Mistrial Last Month

Little more than a month after a jury hung on whether or not Donte Graves was guilty of murder, Graves on Friday pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, saying he shot 22-year-old Tyrone Joyner in February 2013.

According to the proffer of facts read in court Friday by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Liebman, Graves, 19, shot Joyner one time in the torso, after Joyner confronted him and tried to punch him.

Joyner was found by police suffering from a gunshot wound on the 1400 block of Canal Street, SW, and transported to a local hospital where he later died of his injuries.

An eye-witness testified last month that Joyner was trying to rob Graves before he shot him outside his home near Nationals Park. This past April, the trial ended with a deadlocked jury and was declared a mistrial.

Graves was arrested in March 5, 2013, and charged with second-degree murder.

As part of his plea agreement Graves faces up to ten years in prison for the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter. Both parties also agreed Joyner undergo a Youth Act Study Observation. The act requires youth offenders convicted for felony offenses, including murder, be transferred to the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Prisons for treatment and rehabilitation.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 18, at 10:00 a.m., in front of Judge Russell Canan.

Plea documents have been added to this post.

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