A Southeast Washington man who recently pled guilty to a 2010 fatal shooting was sentenced Tuesday to 18 years in prison.
Jerome E. Bailey, 21, showed little emotion as D.C. Superior Court judge Judge Lynn Leibovitz said he hunted down Rico Mathews, 36, on Nov. 5, 2010, while Mathews played a video game in a southeast Washington apartment.
Bailey, who authorities said had anger and mental health issues and who had tested positive for PCP, told authorities he believed Mathews “might” get involved with a woman he was dating.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Miller said Bailey chased Mathews down before shooting him four times. Prosecutors initially charged Bailey with first-degree murder. But in September, Bailey pled guilty to second-degree murder.
As part of the agreement with prosecutors, Leibovitz agreed to sentence Bailey to between 16 and 20 years.
Mathews’ family, including his father, Orlando Jenkins, was in the courtroom. Speaking before the judge, Jenkins said he “lost part of my heart” when his son was killed.
Jenkins added that “two men have lost their lives” as a result of Mathews’ decision; Mathews and his son.
Bailey’s attorney, Dana Page, of the District’s Public Defender Services, said Bailey was overcome with rage when he shot Mathews.
“This rage was not typical for Mr. Bailey,” she said.
Before he was sentenced, Bailey apologized to his family and then the Mathews family.
The judge admonished Bailey that while in prison, he should find a way to control his emotions.
“It’s about time you get a grip on how to control your impulses,” Leibovitz said.