The Washington Post

District man lashes out at prosecutors and victim’s family after being sentenced to 38 years in prison

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the timing of the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl. The assault took place two months after Rahiem Moore’s killing.

A District man convicted of lying in wait for and then fatally shooting another man in 2009 repeatedly shouted at the prosecutor and the victim’s family in D.C. Superior Court during his sentencing hearing Friday.

Before D.C. Superior Court Judge Ronna L. Beck sentenced Luel Hayes Jr., 43, to 27 years in prison for the June 10, 2009, fatal shooting of Rahiem Moore, 37, Hayes repeatedly called the prosecutors and witnesses at in his trial “liars.”

During the angry outbursts, U.S. marshals standing behind the shackled Hayes stepped closer to him and ordered him to face forward. But Hayes continued to turn and yell at the prosecutors and Moore’s relatives.

“I am not the one that killed Spot,” Hayes said, using Moore’s long-time nickname, given by his family and friends. “The government is a liar. You prepped those witnesses.”

In November, a jury found Hayes guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Saybolt described Hayes as a man who could not control his anger.

“Mr. Hayes is a person who gives into his jealous rages,” Saybolt said. The prosecutor said the two men had argued earlier in the day. Hayes waited for Moore in a lot in the 1300 block of Columbia Road NW. When Moore returned to his parked car, Hayes shot him repeatedly.

Sharron Hall, the mother of Moore’s five children, wiped away tears and asked the judge to sentence Hayes to the maximum.

“My life and my children’s life will never be the same,” she told Beck as her children sat behind her in the audience.

Beck also sentenced Hayes to an additional 11 years in prison for the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl two months after Moore’s killing. Hayes pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree child sexual abuse.

As the mother of the victim told the judge how she had befriended Hayes and welcomed him into her home before he assaulted her daughter, Hayes cursed at her and she cursed him back.

Hayes’s attorney, Anthony Matthews of the District’s Public Defender Service, said his client planned to appeal.

Keith Alexander covers crime, specifically D.C. Superior Court cases for The Washington Post. He has covered dozens of crime stories from Banita Jacks, the Washington woman charged with killing her four daughters, to the murder trial of slain federal intern Chandra Levy.


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