North Carolina Woman Pleads Guilty to Fatally Stabbing a Man During a Visit to Washington DC

North Carolina Woman Pleads Guilty to Fatally Stabbing a Man During a Visit to Washington DC

Incident Occurred in January 2023

            WASHINGTON – Cynthia Battle, 54, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty today to stabbing a man to death on January 16, 2023, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Acting Chief Pamela A. Smith, of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). Battle pleaded in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to a charge of voluntary manslaughter. The Honorable Michael O’Keefe accepted the plea and scheduled sentencing for November 17, 2023.

            According to the government’s evidence, on January 15, 2023, Cynthia Battle and two friends drove from their homes in North Carolina to visit a friend in Washington DC. The following day, the decedent, Raymond Johnson, joined them all at the friend’s house. At approximately 11:45 pm on January 16, 2023, Battle, Johnson, and a witness walked together down Minnesota Ave. Southeast, to purchase crack cocaine. While outside on the street, and in the midst of this drug transaction, Battle was captured on surveillance camera lunging towards Johnson. Battle, Johnson, and the witness then quickly separated, walking in opposite directions. Minutes later, a 911 caller found Johnson further down the street. Johnson was laying face down and unconscious, bleeding from a single stab wound to his chest.

            The sole eyewitness to the stabbing immediately drove back to North Carolina, leaving Battle behind. Battle caught her own ride back to North Carolina the next day, after which she absconded. Members of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) worked with members of the Halifax County Sherriff’s Office to locate and interview the witness within days of the stabbing. The witness initially claimed not to have seen anything, but later admitted to seeing a flash of silver in Battle’s hand as Battle struck Johnson in the chest. Law enforcement from these two jurisdictions also worked together to search Battle’s home, where they found the clothing she wore on the night of the murder. Battle was arrested in March 2023, and has been in custody ever since. 

            In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Graves and Acting Chief Smith commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. They also acknowledged the cooperation from the Halifax County Sherriff’s Office, and acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Advocate Latrice Washington-Williams and Paralegal Specialist Lauren Douglas. Finally, they expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Lindhorst, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

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