Earl Johnson Sentenced to 14 Years, 3 Months in Prison for Antoinette Mitchell Murder

Judge Russell Canan sentenced Earl Johnson Tuesday to 14 years and three month in prison for the August 2012 stabbing death of 29-year-old Antoinette Mitchell.

Johnson, 41, pleaded guilty in April to voluntary manslaughter in Mitchell’s death.

According to the proffer of facts, Johnson got into an argument at Mitchell’s apartment with one of Mitchell’s relatives in the early morning hours of August 22, 2012. Mitchell entered the argument to defend her relative and asked Johnson to leave, the documents say.

Johnson finally left the apartment some time later and Mitchell followed, carrying a clothes iron. Johnson exited the apartment building, but walked no more than a few feet before turning around. Mitchell stood in the doorway holding the iron and told Johnson he could not come back into the building, the documents say.

According to the documents, Mitchell swung the iron and hit Johnson in the head when he approached the doorway. After that, Johnson pulled out a knife and stabbed Mitchell several times. Johnson fled the scene on foot; Mitchell later died at the hospital.

The autopsy found Mitchell was stabbed in her chest, right arm and left hand. Documents also state that the stab wound to her chest was approximately four inches deep.

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office is included below:

District Man Sentenced to More Than 14 Years in Prison
For Fatally Stabbing Woman in Southeast Washington
-Victim Ordered Defendant to Leave Her Apartment Building-

WASHINGTON - Earl Johnson, 41, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to a prison sentence of 14 years and three months for fatally stabbing a woman at an apartment building in Southeast Washington last year, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

Johnson pled guilty in April 2013 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to a charge of voluntary manslaughter while armed in the August 2012 killing of Antionette Mitchell. He was sentenced by the Honorable Russell F. Canan. Upon completion of his prison term, Johnson will be placed on five years of supervised release.

According to the government’s evidence, in the early morning hours of Aug. 22, 2012, Johnson was inside an upstairs apartment in the 3200 block of 13th Street SE, where Ms. Mitchell, 29, and her relatives, including the defendant’s ex-girlfriend, resided. Johnson did not live in the apartment or in any other apartments in the multi-unit building.

Once inside the apartment, Johnson began arguing with his ex-girlfriend. Ms. Mitchell eventually got involved and told Johnson to leave, warning that she would call the police if he refused. Johnson finally left the apartment, angrily slamming the door behind him. As he proceeded downstairs to the building’s exit, Ms. Mitchell followed him, carrying a clothes iron.

Johnson walked a few feet away, then turned and started walking back toward the building. At this point, Ms. Mitchell stood inside the building hallway, near the front door. While wielding the iron, she told Johnson that he could not come back inside. Johnson then approached the doorway, walking toward Ms. Mitchell. As he pulled the door open, Ms. Mitchell attempted to prevent him from entering and swung the iron and struck him in the head.

Shortly thereafter, Johnson began stabbing Ms. Mitchell multiple times with the knife, continuing even after she was wounded and helpless. Ms. Mitchell died from the wounds. Johnson was arrested later in the day.

In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of those who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Sandra Lane and Victim/Witness Advocate Tamara Ince, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael C. Liebman, who investigated and prosecuted the matter.

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