Judge Thomas Motley this afternoon imposed the maximum penalties possible under sentencing guidelines on Kevin Clark and Donald Crosland, both of whom pleaded guilty to killing teen Ricardo Minger in a Southeast DC apartment in January 2011.
“Everybody makes mistakes,” Clark said at sentencing. “Sometimes you fall down and scrape your knee. Sometimes you bump your head. I’ll be sorry forever. I didn’t have a right to take a life ‘cause I never brought life into this world.”
Clark and Crosland pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter while armed in September 2011, saying that they both shot at Minger, who was at Clark’s girlfriend’s home. Crosland said Minger had pistol-whipped him in a robbery and shot at a friend of his.
When Clark and Crosland arrived at the girlfriend’s home and saw Minger there, they pulled out revolvers and shot at him, striking him five times including in the face and abdomen. Minger, 17, was identified by his fingerprints. Prosecutor Jeff Pearlman said Minger was unarmed when he was killed.
“What happened in that apartment was a horror show,” Pearlman said.
Clark’s attorney, Madalyn Harvey, disagreed.
“This was not a brutal killing,” she said. “This was spontaneous. If this case had gone to trial, there would have been serious doubts about what prompted Mr. Clark to act in this manner. The court has to focus on the conduct of (Minger). There are strong mitigations here.”
Clark and Crosland were arrested in January and February 2011, respectively, each on suspicion of first-degree murder. They were 23 and 17 years old. They each pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter while armed in September 2011.
On Friday Motley sentenced Clark to 17 years in prison and Crosland to 14 years in prison. Clark’s sentence was longer because he has a criminal history, but each of the sentences was the maximum mandated by sentencing guidelines.
“Every human life has value,” Motley said. “Even the decedent who had problems or trouble, he could have turned his life around. He has no opportunity [to do that now].”
Crosland, who will turn 18 years old on Saturday, addressed Minger’s mother, who was present for the sentencing.
“I’m very sorry for what happened,” he said. “I feel bad for what happened. I feel terrible for what happened. I put that grief there and I’m sorry.”