D.C. crime victims, good samaritans honored by U.S. Attorney’s Office

U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and other local prosecutors honored more than 50 crime victims, their families, witnesses and law enforcement officers Thursday at a ceremony dedicated to the individuals’ “bravery” for helping secure convictions of criminals involved in violent crimes.

“We all aspire to help victims seek justice, find hope and rebuild their lives,” Machen said during the ceremony, which took place during the 30th anniversary of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Among those honored were two former Catholic University students who helped rescue and protect a woman who was being assaulted and the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force.

Prosecutors also honored Demetrius Martin, who suffers from a mental illness. In May 2010, he jumped out of a bedroom window and ran to tell neighbors his older brother Christopher had killed their 58-year-old mother Patricia Ann Martin. Last year, Christopher Martin, 28, was convicted of second-degree murder in his mother’s death. He was later sentenced to 29 years in prison.

The prosecutors also honored the five adult daughters of 54-year-old Miguel Ventura who in November 2010, was fatally stabbed more than 30 times during a robbery inside his restaurant, Izalco, in the 1200 block of 11th St. NW.

One of his daughters discovered her father’s body and testified during the trial that her father was so badly beaten, she did not recognize him as he lay on the floor. Alexander Gomez-Enamorado, 23, was found guilty of the murder and is awaiting sentencing.

Prosecutors noted the sisters’ efforts in securing an arrest and conviction in their father’s slaying.

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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 intern Chandra Levy.
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