District man sentenced to 7 years in prison for witness intimidation in previous murder trial

Two years ago, a D.C. jury acquitted him in the 2008 fatal shooting of a Northeast Washington woman. But in August, more than a year after the trial, prosecutors said Terrence J. Jones sought revenge against the two primary witnesses who testified against him and tried to run down one of them with his car.

On Friday, D.C. Superior Court Judge Herbert B. Dixon Jr. sentenced Jones, 22, to seven years in prison after he was convicted in January of obstruction of justice in the August incident.

Authorities charged Jones with seven counts, including second-degree murder, in the death of Tanganika Stanton three years ago. Police said Jones approached Stanton, 18, as she sat outside her apartment building in the 4900 block of Grant Street eating a hamburger her mother made. Jones fatally shot Stanton after she and her mother refused to cook him a hamburger, authorities said.

During the murder trial, a woman and her son, who was 10 years old at the time of the trial, testified separately against Jones. The boy told prosecutors he saw Jones shoot Stanton and was “scared,” then got on his bike and rode away. He told the jury he remembered the day because he had just returned from school and had changed out of his uniform to ride his new bike.

Jones’s attorneys, from the District’s Public Defender Service, argued that another man shot Stanton and that witnesses misidentified Jones. After deliberations, the jury acquitted Jones on April 13, 2010, and he was released from the D.C. jail.

Two months after his release, prosecutors say Jones began a campaign of intimidation against the woman and her son for testifying against him.

Prosecutors said Jones sent threatening messages via Facebook. In May 2011, while stopped at an intersection in Northeast, Jones saw the witness and made a gesture threatening to shoot her.

Then in August, authorities said, Jones drove his car at a high speed down the wrong side of 50th Street NE as the woman was getting out of her vehicle with her 1-year-old grandchild. No one was injured.

Jones was arrested and charged with obstruction a month later.

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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