Ercell Overton sentenced to 28 years in murder of D.C. cab driver Solomon Okoroh

A Northwest D.C. man was sentenced to 28 years in prison Friday for the 2013 fatal shooting of a cab driver and a subsequent police chase and gun battle that left residents in the Adams Morgan neighborhood terrorized.

Judge Russell F. Canan sentenced Ercell D. Overton in connection to the June 4, 2013 fatal shooting of cab driver Solomon J. Okoroh, 59. In February, Overton pled guilty to one count of second-degree murder while armed in Okoroh’s slaying.

D.C. police said officers in a robbery unit patrolling the 2400 block of Ontario Road about 3:15 a.m. saw the taxi go by and heard the gunshot. The officers chased Overton and Joshua King, and a gun battle erupted with dozens of bullets exchanged, police have said.

Overton, according to court documents, pointed a gun directly at one of the officers during the chase. Meanwhile, Okoroh, mortally wounded, was on the ground near his cab.

Overton began shooting at the officers a second time, according to court records, as he continued running past a rowhouse in the 2300 block of Ontario Road. The officers fired back, authorities said in court papers.

Overton then kicked in the front door of a basement apartment ,where he tried to hide, police said. Residents ran out of the apartment. About an hour later, after additional police and a K-9 unit descended on the apartment, Overton was arrested. Police said they found a black .380 handgun in the apartment.

Okoroh, a father of five, had been driving for the Classic Cab taxi company for 15 years. Before his death, prosecutors said Okoroh gave a description of his attacker, which police said matched Overton.

Following the shooting, city council members, called for additional safety measures for cab drivers including panic buttons installed near the drivers and safety windows that separate the drivers from their passengers.

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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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