A Look Back on the 21st and Vietnam Cases in 2014

It’s been more than three years since Tyrell Fogle, Isaiah Sheffield and Steven Moore were killed in separate crew-related shootings in Northeast DC. This year their alleged killers were convicted and sentenced, ending a complex multi-defendant case.

Six men were charged in 2011 and 2012: Kevin Charles, Johnnie Harris, Anthony Hatton, Stanley Moghalu, Delrico Shuford, and Jewkan Smith. They were bound by their allegiance to “21st and Vietnam,” a crew allegedly responsible for taking part in a number of violent acts that injured one person and killed Fogle, 17; Sheffield, 24; and Moore, 36. The men were all charged with 21 criminal counts including conspiracy, first-degree murder, obstruction of justice, assault and weapons charges for the 2011 murders.

On August 29, 2011, Tyrell Fogle was chased through Langston Terrace and gunned down by a masked man. Isaiah Sheffield was shot and killed in September 2011 when he rode his bike down 21st Street Northeast. Steven Moore was simply found shot, early in the evening of Dec. 3, 2011, in the 1100 block of 21st Street Northeast.

Shuford and Charles pleaded guilty in April and June 2013 for their involvement in the deaths of Moore and Fogle.

Shuford pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter while armed and conspiracy in connection with Fogle’s death. He testified later in the case that Hatton was the shooter and claimed that he himself played a limited role in Fogle’s death.

Shuford told jurors that he didn’t fire one gunshot at Fogle the night he was murdered, but that Hatton did, and that he tried to stop Hatton. Shuford told jurors that he used to belong to 21st and Vietnam, which is named after an area near 21st and I Street Northeast, where the group sold drugs. According to Shuford, his crew and another group called “E Street” had been “beefing” for a reason he could not remember dating back to at least 2010, and that beef is what ended Fogle’s life. Shuford was sentenced to five years in prison.

Days before trial, Charles pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter while armed and conspiracy to commit a crime of violence in connection with the December 2011 shooting death of Steven Moore. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

Harris, Smith, Hatton and Moghalu went to trial. During five weeks of testimony, prosecutors argued Fogle and Sheffield were murdered almost within a month of each other due to their affiliation with the rival gang “E Street.”

Hatton shot Fogle, who was unarmed, over a woman, prosecutors said. He was shot three times — in the back and the back of the legs — as he tried to flee his own apartment because he was dating the same person as Delrico Shuford, according to prosecutors. The murder weapon was found at Hatton’s feet when he was arrested.

About a month later, on Sept. 24, Fogle’s friend Sheffield was riding his bike when he was shot multiple times by Jekwan Smith, prosecutors argued at trial. Sheffield attempted to hide behind a car and return fire, but it was too late.

Prosecutors added that two months later, the group murdered Steven Moore, a witness in Sheffield’s death, who was believed to be a police informant, leading Jewkan Smith, Johnnie Harris and others to plot his death. The men had an unspoken agreement to protect each other, prosecutors said.

After three weeks of deliberations, Smith and Harris were cleared of first-degree murder while armed in connection with Sheffield’s death. Harris and Moghalu were acquitted of killing Moore. Moghalu was also found innocent on a separate charge of committing a crime while on release, but a judge declared a mistrial after jurors couldn’t reach a verdict on two counts of carrying a pistol without a license and unlawful possession of a firearm. Moghalu was retried in 2014 on the gun charges, convicted, and sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

But jurors could not reach decisions on the other men’s charges in the cases, including charges of first-degree premeditated murder while armed, second-degree murder, conspiracy, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence and carrying a pistol without a license in connection with Fogle and Sheffield’s death. Smith, Harris, and Hatton’s cases were declared a mistrial.

On Sept. 8, 2014, Smith, Harris and Hatton pleaded guilty to lesser charges for the deaths of Tyrell Fogle and Isaiah Sheffield.

Hatton pleaded guilty to second-degree murder while armed for killing Fogle and is serving a 15-year prison sentence.

Harris pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter for Sheffield’s death and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Smith pleaded guilty to two counts of voluntary manslaughter while armed — one count for Sheffield and another for the 2007 murder of Michael Pearson. He was sentenced to 17 and a half years.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and MPD declined to comment on whether the 21st and Vietnam crew remains active.

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