David Warren was sentenced Friday by Judge Rhonda Winston to 36 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for the May 2011 shooting death of Ervin Lamont Griffin, in Northeast D.C.
Warren, 32, was convicted by a jury in March of two counts of first-degree murder while armed, second-degree murder while armed, kidnapping while armed, armed carjacking, armed robbery, and related weapons offenses.
“Loosing our youngest son was a terrible tragedy,” said Griffin’s father, Robert Griffin, during the hearing Friday. “We believe this was a conspiracy between two people, maybe several people, but we will never know.”
During the three-week trial prosecutors argued that on May 13, 2011, 32-year-old Griffin was dragged from his car during a robbery attempt and when he did not have anything his assailants could take, he was shot him in the neck.
Griffin was found by police in an alley off the 1200 block of 18th Place Northeast suffering from several gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
“This was a conspiracy, and the defendant played a lead role,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Holly Schick. “Mr. Griffin really did nothing to deserve this.”
Warren also spoke to the court, offering his condolences to Griffin’s family and saying the conspiracy that prosecutors argued was not true.
“I was not the person who took your son,” said Warren, looking straight at Griffin’s family. “It may be hard to believe by everything you’ve heard during court, but those are just their theories. That is not the truth.”
Defense Attorney Kevin Moseley spoke on behalf of Warren and told Judge Winston that Warren is a very intelligent man, who is caring, and loving to his family and friends.
“He is going to miss all the major events in his kids’ lives,” Moseley said. “This has been trying on both families, and giving someone a high-end sentence will not help the grief they are feeling.”
Judge Winston said she recalled the evidence presented by both sides during the trial and told Warren she wan not sentencing him because he is a “bad person,” but because a jury found him guilty of the crime.
Addressing Warren she said, “Sir, you are going to be in your sixties when you get released. You will be able to live something of a life after you get out, but Mr. Griffin will not.”
A press release form the District Attorneys Office is below.
District Man Sentenced to 36 Years in Prison
For 2011 Murder in Northeast Washington
-Shooting Followed Carjacking and Robbery-
WASHINGTON -David E. Warren, 28, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 36 years in prison for the 2011 killing of a man in Northeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Warren was found guilty by a jury in March 2014, following a three-week trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The jury convicted Warren of two counts of first-degree murder while armed during the commission of two separate felonies; second-degree murder while armed; kidnapping while armed; armed carjacking; armed robbery, and related weapons offenses. He was sentenced by the Honorable Rhonda Reid Winston. Upon completion of his prison term, Warren will be placed on five years of supervised release.
According to the government’s evidence, shortly before 11 p.m. on May 13, 2011, the victim, Ervin L. Griffin, 32, pulled his SUV into the 1200 block of 18th Street NE, soon after meeting several young women at a nearby bus stop. While Mr. Griffin was sitting in his SUV, which was parked in the middle of the street, Warren approached and told Mr. Griffin to leave.
Eventually, Mr. Griffin pulled into an alley off of the 1200 block of 18th Street NE, where Warren entered the passenger side of Mr. Griffin’s SUV and took his keys. Warren, armed with a semi-automatic firearm, then went to the driver’s side of the SUV, pulled Mr. Griffin out, and demanded money. Warren, along with others, then walked Mr. Griffin up an alley and into a yard behind 1218 18th Place NE, where Mr. Griffin was shot and killed.
Surveillance video from the Metropolitan Police Department’s closed circuit television cameras showed the events leading up to Mr. Griffin’s murder, and showed Warren and others exiting the alley where the murder took place within a minute after the murder.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of the detectives, officers, and crime scene technicians who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department. He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Litigation Technology Specialists Thomas Royal, William Henderson, and Paul Howell; Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker; and Paralegal Specialists Kelly Blakeney and Mia Beamon. Finally, he thanked former Assistant U.S. Attorney B. Michael Ortwein, who investigated and indicted the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michelle D. Jackson and Holly R. Shick, who prosecuted the case.