FW: News Release_South Capitol Street_Five Men Sentenced For Their Roles In Crimes That Led to Five Murders, Nine Other Shootings
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Five Men Sentenced For Their Roles
In Crimes That Led to Five Murders, Nine Other Shootings
Three Sentenced to Terms of Life in Prison With No Possibility of Release
For Carrying Out Mass Shootings on South Capitol Street
WASHINGTON – Five men were sentenced today to prison terms for murder, conspiracy,
and other charges stemming from a series of violent crimes that culminated on the night of
March 30, 2010 with a deadly mass shooting on South Capitol Street, announced U.S. Attorney
Ronald C. Machen Jr. and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
The defendants, all from Washington, D.C., include: Sanquan Carter, 21, also known as
“Bootsie;” his brother, Orlando Carter, 22, also known as “Lando” or “Dough;” Jeffrey D. Best,
23, also known as “Dro,” “Little Dro,” or “J.B.;” Robert Bost, 23, also known as “Little Rob” or
“Chuck,” and Lamar J. Williams, 24, also known as “Neph” or Nephew.”
The defendants were convicted by a jury on May 7, 2012, following a 2 ½-month trial in the
Superior Court of the District of Columbia. More than 100 witnesses testified during the trial, and
the government introduced more than 1,000 exhibits. The Honorable Ronna L. Beck sentenced
them today after a hearing in which numerous family members of the murder victims, and some
of the surviving victims, described in detail the tragic consequences of the defendants’ actions.
The Court also received 26 victim impact statements prior to the sentencing.
In a day-long sentencing proceeding, Judge Beck declared that the “evidence was
overwhelming” to support the verdicts. She sentenced three defendants – Orlando Carter, Jeffrey
Best and Robert Bost – to life prison terms with no possibility of release. She sentenced Sanquan
Carter to 54 years in prison, and she sentenced Lamar Williams to 30 years of incarceration.
All five of the defendants have been in custody since their arrests in 2010.
The trial focused on a series of violent incidents that occurred within just eight days: the
Monday, March 22, 2010 murder of Jordan Howe, and the shooting of two other individuals in
the 1300 block of Alabama Avenue SE; the Tuesday, March 23, 2010 shooting of defendant
Orlando Carter in the area of 6th and Chesapeake Streets SE, and the four murders and other
shootings that occurred on Tuesday, March 30, 2010, including the drive-by attack on South
All told, the violence included five murders and nine shootings that did not result in death.
In addition to Mr. Howe, 20, the murder victims included Tavon Nelson, 17; Brishell Jones, 16;
Davaughn Boyd, 18 and William Jones, 19. Eight other people, all in their teens or 20s, were
shot, and the bullets missed another teenager by mere inches.
“The violence unleashed by these defendants is unconscionable, culminating in one of the
worst mass shootings in our city’s history,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “Five young lives were
lost and many others were forever shattered by these senseless attacks that shocked our
community. All of the victims, in their teens and twenties, were defenseless when ambushed by
the defendants. Now these defendants will grow old behind bars for these vicious crimes that
robbed mothers and fathers of their children.”
“We will never forget that horrific night and the loss each family suffered,” said Police Chief
Cathy L. Lanier. “Hopefully, each day these defendants spend in prison will be spent thinking
about the pain and carnage they inflicted on this community.”
According to the government’s evidence, the events began late March 21, 2010, when, after
having sex with a 15-year-old girl, Sanquan Carter discovered that a gold-colored bracelet he had
been wearing that evening was missing. Enraged, he called his brother, and he, Orlando Carter,
Best, Williams, and Nathaniel Simms, 28, conspired to assault and kill people mistakenly
believed to have stolen the bracelet. Orlando Carter secured firearms from Williams, and he, Best
and Simms set out to meet Sanquan Carter in the 1300 block of Alabama Avenue.
At about 12:30 a.m. on March 22, 2010, both Carters and Best opened fire on a group of
people gathered there, using an AK-47, a pump-action shotgun and a pistol. Mr. Howe was killed
and two other young men, then 15 and 22, were wounded.
Evidence showed that 33 shots were fired in the attack on Alabama Avenue, including 28
from the AK-47. Additionally, three unfired 12-gauge shotgun shells were ejected as Best
attempted to fire the pump-action shotgun.
Sanquan Carter was arrested and detained on March 23, 2010. He was not charged with any
of the crimes that followed.
According to evidence presented during the trial, the killing of Mr. Howe led Mr. Howe’s
associates to carry out the retaliatory shooting of Orlando Carter at about 6 p.m. March 23, 2010,
in the area of 6th and Chesapeake Streets SE. One shot hit Orlando Carter in the shoulder and the
other grazed his head. Orlando Carter was hospitalized but soon released, and, according to the
government’s evidence, he immediately began planning to exact revenge.
For several days, the government’s evidence showed, Orlando Carter sought information
about Mr. Howe’s funeral, with plans to attack those in attendance. Eventually, on Sunday, March
28, 2010, Orlando Carter got a three-word text message: “Funeral on Tuesday.”
Orlando Carter initially planned for he and his co-conspirators to appear at the March 30,
2010 funeral service for Mr. Howe and to shoot and kill as many friends and associates of Mr.
Howe as they could. Plans did not materialize as expected because it took longer than anticipated
to secure the rental of a minivan that would be used in the drive-by attack. Even though they
missed the funeral, the defendants still moved forward with their violent agenda.
The first shooting on the night of March 30 took place at about 7:20 in the unit block of
Galveston Street SW. According to the government’s evidence, Mr. Nelson was shot in an
attempted robbery aimed at stealing a gun he was known to carry.
About five minutes after those shots rang out, Orlando Carter, Best, Bost and Simms headed
to South Capitol Street, where they came upon a group of young people mourning the loss of Mr.
Howe. Several were wearing shirts memorializing Mr. Howe. Orlando Carter drove by that
location, made a U Turn, and then, wearing ninja-style masks, the men returned to the scene. As
the minivan approached the crowd, Orlando Carter electronically lowered the windows of the
minivan. He brought the vehicle to a complete stop as Best, Bost and Simms opened fire.
The gunfire led to the deaths of Ms. Jones, Mr. Boyd, and Mr. Jones, the injuries of six
others, and the near-miss on a teenage girl.
During the trial, the government presented evidence about two conspiracies: one involving
the events of March 21 and March 22, 2010, and the other involving the events from March 23
through March 30, 2010.
Simms pled guilty in April 2010 to two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and five
counts of second-degree murder while armed. He is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 19, 2012.
Sanquan Carter was convicted of 15 felony charges involving events of March 21 and March
22, 2010, including conspiracy to commit murder, the premeditated murder of Mr. Howe, two
counts of assault with intent to kill while armed, and other offenses.
Orlando Carter was convicted of 50 counts involving events from March 21 through March
30, 2010, including two counts of conspiracy, five counts of first-degree premeditated murder
while armed in the deaths of Mr. Howe, Mr. Nelson, Ms. Jones, Mr. Boyd and Mr. Jones, nine
counts of assault with intent to kill while armed, and other offenses.
Jeffrey Best was convicted of 47 counts involving events from March 21 through March 30,
2010, including two counts of conspiracy, five counts of first-degree premeditated murder while
armed in the deaths of Mr. Howe, Mr. Nelson, Ms. Jones, Mr. Boyd and Mr. Jones, nine counts of
assault with intent to kill while armed, and other offenses.
Robert Bost was convicted of 34 counts involving events from March 23 through March 30,
2010, including one count of conspiracy, four counts of first-degree premeditated murder while
armed in the deaths of Mr. Nelson, Ms. Jones, Mr. Boyd and Mr. Jones, seven counts of assault
with intent to kill while armed, and other offenses.
Lamar Williams was convicted of 28 charges involving events from March 23 through
March 30, 2010, including one count of conspiracy, three counts of second-degree murder while
armed, seven counts of assault with intent to kill while armed, and other offenses.
In announcing the sentences, U.S. Attorney Machen and Chief Lanier thanked all of those
who worked on the case. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and MPD were assisted by numerous law
enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives, the
Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the
State’s Attorney’s Office for Montgomery County, Maryland. Assistance also was provided by
Bruce Budowle, PhD, executive director of the University of North Texas Health Science
Center’s Institute of Investigative Genetics.
They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S.
Attorney’s Office, including Michael Ambrosino, Special Counsel for DNA and Forensic
Evidence Litigation; Mary McCord, Acting Chief of the Criminal Division, Assistant U.S.
Attorneys Michelle Jackson, John Gidez, Christopher Kavanaugh, Trena Carrington, and Crystal
Evans; Victim/Witness Specialists Marcia Rinker, Jennifer Clark, and Michael Hailey; Paralegals
Kwasi Fields, Wanda Queen, Delissa Rivers, Meredith McGarrity, Kelly Blakeney, Deborah
Joyner, Mary Treanor, Margaret McCabe and Benjamin Kagan-Guthrie; Legal Assistant Angela
Lawrence; Litigation Technology Specialists Joe Calvarese and Leif Hickling, and Criminal
Investigator Durand Odom.
Finally, they commended the work of those who have worked on the case from the U.S.
Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael D. Brittin, Bruce R. Hegyi and
Adam B. Schwartz, who prosecuted the case.
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