District Man Sentenced to 39-Month Prison Term on Weapons and Assault Charges

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

            WASHINGTON – Kenneth Deberry, 40, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 39 months in prison for illegal possession by a felon of a firearm and assault, stemming from his arrest in separate cases, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Deberry pleaded guilty in October 2021, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, a federal offense, as well as simple assault, a District of Columbia offense. He was sentenced by the Honorable Tanya S. Chutkan to 33 months in prison on the weapons charge, and another 180 days for assault. Following completion of his prison term, he will be placed on three years of supervised release.

            According to the government’s evidence, on Nov. 14, 2020, at approximately 4 p.m., MPD responded to the area of 17th and I Streets NW after reports of assaults occurring during a march taking place that day. Deberry, who was suspected of carrying out one of the assaults, was apprehended by officers. During a search, police recovered a loaded .38-caliber revolver in his waistband. Deberry was barred from possessing a firearm because of previous convictions in the District of Columbia for robbery, sexual abuse of a child, and other felony offenses. As part of the plea, the government dismissed assault and disorderly conduct charges in this incident.

            Six months later, on May 14, 2021, while he was on home detention pending trial, Deberry got into an argument with a male relative at his home. During the argument, he strangled the relative, repeatedly punched him in the face, and later pushed him from behind when the man tried to flee. The man was hospitalized and suffered a collapsed lung, fractured ribs, a broken nose, and other injuries. Deberry was arrested and has been in custody ever since.

            In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Graves and Chief Contee commended the work of the officers from the Metropolitan Police Department who investigated both incidents. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the cases from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary L. Dohrmann and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily (Meg) Ariotti, who prosecuted the matter with assistance from former Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michelle McLeod and Thomas Caldwell.