14 December 2013

Teen Gets 30 Years in Woodley Park Metro Stabbing

Olijawon Griffin was stabbed and killed last year.
Back in November 2012, I blogged about the murder of Olijawon Griffin at the Woodley Park Metro station:
According to the court documents, a police officer who watched Metro security footage saw Griffin engage one teen in a boxing-style fistfight shortly after 1:15 a.m. and then saw Myers sneak behind Griffin with a knife, stab him in the chest and run.
At the time, I wrote:
Myers "snuck up behind Griffin" which would tend to show deliberation and premeditation, no?
I wondered if Myers was actually culpable for first degree murder rather than second. It turns out I was right:
Myers was indicted on a charge of first-degree premeditated murder while armed and the others were indicted on felony murder. All six were indicted on charges of armed robbery, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault causing significant bodily injury and weapons offenses for their roles in attacks on Griffin and his friend...
The District of Columbia, like many other jurisdictions, allows for accomplices to be charged with murder when someone dies in the commission of another (usually dangerous felony). So while Myers's accomplices didn't actually kill Griffin (or, for that matter, are even accused of killing him), they are charged with felony murder--as if they did kill him.

The now 18-year old Chavez Myers and his friends, charged as adults, will spend a considerable amount of time in prison.

According to this article in the Washington Post, Myers pled guilty to first degree felony murder, and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. The other five accomplices, ages 17 to 20, drew sentences ranging from 15 to 19 years for voluntary manslaughter.

So Myers was indeed convicted of first degree murder, but of the felony murder variety (killing while perpetrating certain crimes, probably robbery) as opposed to the purposeful variety. In the end, the distinction is probably not meaningful--Myers will be in prison for a long time.
Post a Comment