In June 2013, just days before trial, Charles pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter while armed and conspiracy to commit a crime of violence.
Charles, Harris, Hatton, and Smith, are linked by their allegiance to 21st and Vietnam, a neighborhood gang whose members were indicted on 21 criminal charges. As members of the group, they committed a series of attacks that resulted in the deaths of Moore, Fogle, and Sheffield. Jurors acquitted Harris and his co-defendant Stanley Moghalu of Moore’s murder in September 2013.
Moore, 36, was found suffering from gunshot wounds in the 1100 block of 21st Street Northeast. He died at local hospital.
Defense attorney James Maloney argued that there was no evidence tying Charles directly to the killing of Moore and asked for him to be sentenced outside of guidelines.
“Although he pleaded guilty, he was never in possession of a weapon,” James Maloney said. “The sentence should reflect his reduced role in Moore’s death.”
Judge Henry Greene agreed based on Charles limited involvement in Moore’s fatal shooting and the acquittal of two other men in the case.
“I’ve considered his level of participation and that the two other individuals were in fact found not guilty, but evidence showed there were two shooters,” Judge Greene said before delivering his sentencing. “But, a jury didn’t find that.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Bach argued that it was Charles’ refusal to assist the government that led to Moghalu and Harris’ verdict.
“We may have been able to convict the others if Charles just told us what he knew,” Bach said. She added that she offered him a number of choices where he didn’t have to be in his position.
Charles asked for leniency as he addressed the court. “I’m very remorseful to the victim’s family and my family,” Charles said. “Please have mercy. I just want to put this behind me.”