District Man Sentenced to More Than 10 Years in Prison for Killing Man on Street in Southeast Washington

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FILE PHOTO: American flag waves outside the U.S. Department of Justice Building in Washington

            WASHINGTON – Cecil Smith, 29, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 10 years and nine months in prison for fatally shooting a man last year in Southeast Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). 

            Smith pleaded guilty on April 1, 2022, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to a charge of voluntary manslaughter while armed. The plea, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for the sentence of 10 years and nine months in prison. The Honorable Milton C. Lee, Jr. accepted the plea and sentenced Smith accordingly. Following his prison term, Smith will be placed on five years of supervised release.

            According to the government’s evidence, on Aug. 23, 2021, at approximately 11 p.m., Smith was standing immediately adjacent to a parking lot in the 3900 block of South Capitol Street SE, next to a vehicle along with Harold Castle. Mr. Castle then grabbed a bottle that Smith placed on the hood of the vehicle. Mr. Castle held the bottle in the air and looked at the contents of the bottle. He poured a portion of the remaining contents into his cup, then handed the bottle to the Smith. Smith reached towards his right pocket, turned away from Mr. Castle, and fired a gun towards him. Mr. Castle, 29, struck by the bullet, turned and ran towards the parking lot, where he collapsed and died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

            Smith was arrested on Sept. 1, 2021. He has been in custody ever since. 

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Graves and Chief Contee commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Criminal Investigations Division Homicide Branch of the Metropolitan Police Department. They acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Lashone Samuels, former Victim/ Witness Specialist Marcia Rinker, Victim/Witness Advocate Latrice Washington-Williams, and Investigative Analyst Zachary McMenamin.

            Finally, they commended the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney Shehzad Akhtar, who investigated and prosecuted the case.