“Every life is precious; the sentence should reflect every victim,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kerkhoff.
Shaw, 22, was convicted in April of first-degree premeditated murder while armed in connection with Key’s death and over 30 other assault and weapon charges in the two shootings.
Kerkhoff said the parents of Key tried to come to court, but couldn’t bear it.
“They are not living anymore; they are trying to survive,” said Kerkhoff. “In order for them to survive, they couldn’t be here today.”
Key, 19, was found fatally shot in the 500 block of First Street Northwest, after he had been celebrating with five of his close friends. They were shot at 28 times outside one of their residences.
As the teenagers and young men ran for cover, a gunshot pierced Key’s back, severing his aortic arch and killing him, according to the government’s evidence. Kerkhoff argued that Shaw continued to shoot during a cook-out as Crevontai and others ran.
“It is cowardly to shoot someone unarmed; it is even more cowardly to shoot someone in the back,” Kerkhoff said.
In an impact statement, Key’s uncle Reginald Key said Key tried to stay out of trouble.
“That day he chose to go where he went,” said Key. “He chose not to go somewhere so nothing could happen to him, but something still happened to him.”
Defense Attorney Steven Kiersh asked Judge Anderson to give Shaw a fair sentence that still allows him to hope for a better life.
“This is a young man who has many years ahead of him,” said Kiersh. “Most of those years will be in a highly contained facility, he needs hope that at some point he does get out and betters himself.”
“My nephew wasn’t a killer, he was a kid,” said Key’s uncle after the sentencing. “Nobody wins in this situation.”
A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office is below.
District Man Sentenced to 107 Years in Prison
For Two Shootings, Including Murder of Unarmed Teenager
Defendant and Two Accomplices Fired at Least 28 Shots
At Group Attending Fourth of July Cook-Out
WASHINGTON – Calvin Shaw, 24, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 107 years in prison for his role in two shootings, including one in which he opened fire on a group of unarmed teenagers and young men who were gathered for a Fourth of July neighborhood cook-out, killing one of them, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Shaw, also known as Sharkim Sharp, was found guilty by a jury in April 2014, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He was sentenced by the Honorable Jennifer Anderson.
The jury found Shaw guilty of one count of first-degree murder while armed, five counts of assault with intent to kill while armed, two counts of aggravated assault while armed, and related weapons offenses for the fatal shooting, which took place on July 4, 2012 in the 5000 block of First Street NW. Shaw also was found guilty of two counts of assault with intent to kill while armed, one count of aggravated assault while armed, and related weapons offenses for an April 18, 2012 shooting that occurred in the same block.
According to the government’s evidence, the murder took place at about 7:55 p.m. on July 4, 2012, when Shaw and two accomplices walked into the 5000 block of First Street NW and opened fire on a group of unarmed teenagers and young men who were gathered to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday and enjoy a cookout.
As the teenagers and young men ran for cover, a gunshot pierced the back of 19-year-old Crevontai Key, severing his aortic arch and killing him. A second 17-year-old victim suffered serious injuries when he was shot in the abdomen. A 15-year-old victim was injured when a bullet grazed the top of the head. A fourth young man was shot in the back, with the bullet exiting his neck. Several other young men were shot at as they ran away. In total, Shaw and his two accomplices fired 28 times at the group of young men.
The jury also found Shaw guilty of the April 18, 2012 shooting of a young man in the same block, and of attempting to shoot another young man who rushed to that victim’s aid.
In a related matter, Shaw’s girlfriend, Tonika Hilliard, 24, was sentenced today to a three-year prison term for obstruction of justice. Hilliard, also of Washington, D.C., pled guilty to the charge, admitting she interfered with a grand jury investigation. The prison time was suspended on the condition that Hilliard successfully complete three years of supervised probation.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the efforts of those who worked on the case from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the FBI. U.S. Attorney Machen also expressed appreciation to those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Kelly Blakeney and Kwasi Fields; Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker; Witness Security Specialist Debra Cannon; and Litigation Technology Specialist Leif Hickling.
Finally, he commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Kerkhoff and Michelle Parikh, who tried the case, as well as former Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bruce Hegyi and Heather Carlton, who investigated the case.