The sentencing by Judge Rhonda Reid Winston came more than two months after the end of Andrews’ trial. The trial was the second in the case; jurors in November deadlocked on the case.
Prosecutors say Andrews waited behind a stairwell early on June 5, 2010 to “catch” Lucas because Andrews believed Lucas had shot at him on a separate occasion. Andrews and another person, who has not been identified, then trapped Lucas, and shot him 15 times in the back and the head, according to charging documents.
Andrews also shot at Phillip Smith, a friend of Lucas’, but did not kill him, according to prosecutors.
Several members of Lucas’ family were present for the sentencing, and Lucas’ grandmother, Diana Thompson, wrote a victim impact statement for the court.
“We will probably never heal from his loss and all we have left are a few memories from his too short life,” Thompson wrote in the impact statement.
“I am a forgiving person, and I have forgiven him,” Thompson wrote in her impact statement. “However, I feel he is a dangerous person and should not be allowed on the streets.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Melinda Williams noted that Lucas’ family is still saving money to buy a headstone for his grave.
In addition, Williams said the family members often had to choose between going to work or to the courthouse during each of the two trials.
Craig Moore, Andrews’ defense attorney, asked for the minimum sentence for his client.
“Mr. Andrews is very much a person, and we do not have to accept at this point that he is a lost cause,” Moore said.
Andrews stood with his hands together at his waist as Judge Winston read his sentence, and declined to speak on his own behalf.
“There is just no reason for anyone to have their life ended the way this man’s life ended,” Judge Winston told Andrews before she read his sentence.
A press release from the US Attorney’s office is below.
District Man Sentenced to 41 ½ Years in Prison
For 2010 Murder of Teenager in Southeast Washington
-Ambushed Victim and His Friend Outside Apartment Building-
WASHINGTON – Joshua Andrews, 22, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to a prison term of 41 ½ years for a 2010 murder that took place in Southeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Andrews was found guilty in April 2014, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, of first-degree premeditated murder while armed, assault with intent to kill while armed, and related offenses. He was sentenced by the Honorable Rhonda Reid Winston.
According to the government’s evidence, during the spring of 2010, Andrews, then 18, was seeking revenge on the victim, 17-year-old Durand Lucas, who Andrews “assumed” had shot at him on a prior occasion. On June 4, 2010, the day before the murder, Andrews explained exactly how he was going to kill Mr. Lucas. He found out where he could locate Mr. Lucas – at an apartment building in the 1600 block of W Street SE – armed himself, and went to that location. Early June 5, 2010, he saw Mr. Lucas go into the apartment building, and together with a co-conspirator, waited for him outside the door to the building.
About 20 minutes later, just before 3 a.m., Mr. Lucas and another man exited the building. Andrews jumped out from the shadows in the corner of the building and shot at both men. When the two victims tried to flee, Andrews’s co-conspirator jumped out from around the corner of the building and began firing.
Mr. Lucas tried to run away, but was struck by a bullet that broke his leg. After he fell to the ground, Andrews and his accomplice leaned over Mr. Lucas and continued to fire at point-blank range, killing him. The victim was shot a total of 15 times, including three times in the back of the head. The second man was shot twice, but managed to escape.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of the detectives, crime scene officers, and others 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 Criminal Investigator Derek Starliper; Intelligence Analysts Zach McMenamin, Shannon Alexis, and William Hamann; Litigation Technology Specialists Leif Hickling and Paul Howell; Litigation Technology Supervisor Joseph Calvarese; Victim/Witness Advocates Lezlie Richardson and Jennifer Clark; Victim/Witness Security Specialists Debra Cannon, Wanda Queen, and M. LaVerne Forrest; Victim/Witness Supervisory Security Specialist Michael Hailey; Paralegal Specialists Mia Beamon, Deb Joyner, and Phaylyn Hunt; and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Natalia Medina, Lauren Bates, Deborah Sines, Gary Wheeler, and Stephen Rickard. Finally, he expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Melinda A. Williams and Jonathan Kravis, who prosecuted the case.