District Man Sentenced to 8 ½-Year Prison Term for 2019 Killing in Northeast Washington

District Man Sentenced to 8 ½-Year Prison Term for 2019 Killing in Northeast Washington

            WASHINGTON – Lavelle Watts, 29, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to a prison term of 8 ½ years for killing a man in Northeast Washington in September 2019, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Watts pleaded guilty in June 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 a sentence between 7 ½ and 9 years. The Honorable Maribeth Raffinan accepted the plea and sentenced Watts accordingly. Following his prison term, Watts will be placed on five years of supervised release.

            According to the government’s evidence, on Sept. 3, 2019, at approximately 10:50 p.m., the victim, Kailin Middleton, was the front seat passenger in a vehicle that stopped in front of a building in the 900 block of Division Avenue NE. Watts then got out of his vehicle and fired multiple rounds into the passenger side of Mr. Middleton’s vehicle. Mr. Middleton and the driver of the vehicle were both shot multiple times. Mr. Middleton, 28, was pronounced soon afterwards at a local hospital.

            Watts was arrested on Dec. 14, 2021. He has been in custody ever since.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Grave 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 Grazy Rivera and Victim/Witness Advocate Latrice Washington-Williams. Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Ganjei, who investigated and prosecuted the matter. 

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