District Man Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison For Killing Man in Northeast Washington and Stabbing Inmate at Jail

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

            WASHINGTONTavon Davis, 27, of Washington, D.C., has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for fatally beating a man in June 2017 and, in a separate offense, stabbing an inmate in the neck at the District of Columbia Jail, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Davis pleaded guilty in July 2021, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to charges of voluntary manslaughter while armed and assault with a dangerous weapon. The plea, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for a sentence of 9 ½ to 14 years. The Honorable Marisa Demeo accepted the plea and, on May 20, 2022, sentenced the defendant accordingly. Following his prison term, Davis will be placed on five years of supervised release.

            According to the government’s evidence, in the early morning hours of June 28, 2017, Davis killed the victim, Michael Vest, on the porch of a residence in the 1300 block of Trinidad Avenue NE, using a wooden object to strike him in the head multiple times. Police were called at approximately 8 a.m., and Mr. Vest, 29, was discovered slumped in a chair. He was pronounced dead a short time later. An autopsy determined that he died from blunt force trauma.

            Davis was arrested by the Metropolitan Police Department on June 30, 2017. He was held at the D.C. Jail while awaiting trial. On July 3, 2020, according to the government’s evidence, he stabbed another inmate in the neck using a homemade knife. The victim attempted to shield himself with his hands, and, as a result, his arms also were injured.

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            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Graves and Chief Contee commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the matter from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Advocate Jennifer Clark, Investigative Analyst Zachary McMenamin, and Paralegal Specialist Lashone Samuels. Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah Santiago and Prava Palacharla, who investigated and prosecuted the case.