Two Area Men Plead Guilty to Felony Charges Stemming From Carjacking and Robbery Offenses

Two Area Men Plead Guilty to Felony Charges Stemming From Carjacking and Robbery Offenses

            WASHINGTON – Melvin Wiseman, 19, of Washington, D.C., and Demarco Harris, 20, of Capitol Heights, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to felony charges stemming from carjacking and robbery offenses that took place earlier this year, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Both men pleaded guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Wiseman and Harris each pleaded guilty to one count of robbery and one count of unauthorized use of a vehicle, stemming from a carjacking and robbery in March 2022. In addition, Harris pleaded guilty to one count of robbery, one count of assault with a dangerous weapon, and one count of unauthorized use of a vehicle, stemming from a January 2022 armed carjacking and robbery. The Honorable Neal E. Kravitz scheduled a sentencing hearing for June 2, 2023.

            According to the government’s evidence, on March 21, 2022, at approximately 8:20 p.m., Wiseman and Harris approached a vehicle parked in the 2400 block of 20th Street NW, in the Kalorama neighborhood. The vehicle’s owner was saying goodbye to a friend on the sidewalk, while her female friend waited in the car’s passenger seat. Wiseman approached the passenger and ordered her out of the car. When she began screaming for help, Harris climbed across the driver’s seat and put his hands around her neck in an attempt to silence her. Wiseman then pulled the passenger out of the car and threw her to the ground. The men attempted to flee in the vehicle but failed to do so because they could not disengage the parking brake. They then grabbed a purse belonging to the vehicle’s owner and fled on foot. 

            Concerned citizens witnessed the defendants fleeing and called the Metropolitan Police Department. While fleeing, Wiseman discarded his jacket, which contained a hall pass from a school where the defendants were classmates; the pass had been issued in his name earlier that day. Wiseman and Harris also discarded the victim’s purse, but kept her iPhone, which she had stored inside. Harris used the victim’s iPhone for his own benefit, sending the victim’s funds to a Cash App account registered in his own name and using her Lyft account to request a ride from the block on which he lived. The Metropolitan Police Department obtained surveillance footage from the offense location and other evidence.

            The government’s evidence also established that, on Jan. 21, 2022, at approximately 12:15 a.m., Harris requested an Uber ride using an account that was registered to him. Harris and two unidentified associates got into the car’s back seat. Harris directed the driver to a poorly lit residential street in the Brookland neighborhood of Northeast Washington. Upon arriving at that location, Harris exited the vehicle, opened the driver’s door, pointed a handgun at the driver’s head, and ordered him out of the vehicle. The driver ran to safety after Harris physically pulled him from the vehicle. After Harris failed to take the vehicle, he and his associates fled on foot with the driver’s cell phone and car keys. 

            Wiseman was arrested on May 11, 2022, and Harris was arrested on May 18, 2022.  They have remained in custody ever since.

            In announcing the guilty pleas, U.S. Attorney Graves and Chief Contee commended the work of those investigating the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. They also acknowledged the efforts of those working on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Crystal L. Waddy and Alesha Matthews Yette. Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica L.D. Ans and Paul V. Courtney, who investigated and prosecuted the cases.

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