I made the biggest mistake of my life,” Sean Carter Says at Sentencing for Murder of Bidley Warren

Judge Robert Morin sentenced Sean Gerell Carter Friday to 24 years in prison in connection with the shooting death of 22-year-old Bidley Warren.

Carter, 22, pled guilty to second-degree murder in the case in January; he expressed remorse Friday.

Reading from a written statement, Carter asked Judge Morin for leniency.

“I know I hurt a lot of people and I truly apologize,” Carter said. “The day of the incident, I wasn’t myself. I made the biggest mistake of my life. I hope and pray I get a second chance.”

According to the plea agreement, around 10 p.m. on August 23, 2012, Warren and a teenage companion were walking along Rhode Island Avenue Northeast listening to music on Warren’s cell phone. Carter saw the pair from afar, went into his house to retrieve a gun, and then hurried to catch up with them.

When Warren and the teenager saw Carter, they ran away, the documents say.

As Carter chased and fired shots at them, Warren fell. The teenager stopped to try and help Warren, but Carter fired another shot that whizzed by the teen’s face. So, the teen kept running.

Carter then stood over Warren and fired a shot into his head.

“Out of the blue, he saw people he hated and he did something about it,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Shana Fulton said Friday. “This is a case of revenge more than anything else.”

Carter told detectives that he had been previously assaulted by both Warren and the teen; Fulton said Friday that the government “does not have much information about those fights.”

Warren’s sister, Ronnetta Warren, shed light on the history between Warren and Carter in court.

Ronnetta Warren said that her brother and Carter had been rivals since 2007. The two used to ride the bus together and Carter would “hock spit” on Warren. One day, Warren decided to stand up for himself and “he fought Carter fist to fist,” she said. Since then, there has been animosity between the two.

Carter’s defense attorney, Madalyn Harvey, said that while Carter is not claiming self-defense, his actions were taken out of “on-going fear” because Warren had “taunted his family and threatened him.”

“His conduct is that of someone who has not been thinking properly,” Harvey said. “But that does not make him a cold-blooded killer.”

The plea agreement states that moments before the murder Carter believed that Warren was making a phone call to others and telling them to “come down to the Avenue” and harm Carter.

Fulton said Friday that at the time of the incident Warren’s cell phone could not place or accept calls; “all it could do was play music.” When police arrived on scene they found Warren’s cell phone inches from his body and the music was still playing, she said.

Yolanda Miles, a friend of Warren’s, described him as “a very lovable person” who was always “laughing and joking around.” She said that earlier in the evening on that fatal Thursday she had spoke with Warren and told him that the problems in his life would all work out. Later that night she received a call that he was in the hospital suffering from a gunshot wound.

“Ever since that day, all I can do is cry when I think about BJ,” Miles said.

Sentencing documents are below.

A press release from the US Attorney’s Office is below.

District Man Sentenced to 24 Years in Prison
For 2012 Murder in Northeast Washington
-Defendant Also Shot at Second Victim in the Attack-

WASHINGTON – Sean Carter, 22, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 24 years in prison on charges of second-degree murder while armed and assault with intent to kill stemming from a shooting in Northeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

Carter pled guilty in January 2013 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He was sentenced by the Honorable Robert E. Morin. Upon completion of his prison term, Carter will be placed on eight years of supervised release.

According to the government’s evidence, on Aug. 23, 2012, at approximately 10:15 p.m., Carter saw Bidley Warren, 22, walking with a teenager on Rhode Island Avenue NE. Carter recognized both of them and went to his nearby home, where he retrieved a gun. Then he hurried toward them in the 1000 block of Rhode Island Avenue.

When Mr. Warren and the teenager saw Carter approaching with the gun, they ran away from him. Carter chased after them and began shooting. Mr. Warren tripped and fell, and the teenager stopped to check on him. Carter, meanwhile, shot again at the teenager, nearly striking him in the head. Due to the assault with gunfire, the teenager was forced to leave Mr. Warren behind and he ran away. Carter then stood over Mr. Warren and shot Mr. Warren in the head. Mr. Warren died soon afterward from the gunshot wound to his head.

After the murder, Carter fled to Atlanta. He was apprehended there by the U.S. Marshals Service on Oct. 2, 2012. The next day, Carter admitted to two detectives with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) that he chased and shot at Mr. Warren and the teenager, and that he then shot Mr. Warren in the head while Mr. Warren was on the ground. Carter claimed that he had been involved in fights with the teenager and Mr. Warren on previous occasions. According to the government’s evidence, Mr. Warren and the teenager had no interaction with Carter the night of the murder. Neither of the victims saw Carter approach them with the gun until it was too late. He ran after them from behind and chased them down the street with gunfire.

In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of the detectives of MPD’s Criminal Investigations Division and the officers of MPD’s Fifth District. He also acknowledged the efforts of the Atlanta Police Department, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia. He also expressed appreciation to those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including Victim Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker, Witness Security Specialist Tanya Via and Paralegal Specialist Marian Russell. Finally, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Shana Fulton of the Homicide Section, who prosecuted the case.

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