In May 2011, English was charged with sexually assaulting a toddler he knew. He admitted the abuse, saying it happened because the child initiated the sexual contact, court records show. English pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor sex offense and was sentenced to six months in jail, three of them suspended. He also was placed on three years of probation.
His father, William English, wrote a letter to Superior Court Judge Thomas Motley in the summer of 2011 pleading for his son to be given access to mental-health services and “a safe environment to start addressing his issues.”
English was released months later and was back on the street, homeless. While he was on probation, he used illegal drugs and failed to wear his location-monitoring device dozens of times, records show. He also said he was going to stab someone, a threat police say he later carried out when he attacked his friend.
English’s probation was revoked after a hearing on Dec. 21, 2011, and he was sent back to jail to serve the remaining three months of his sentence. Records indicate he was released in late January or early February. When he was released, he was no longer on probation nor monitored by the court’s supervision agency, records indicate.
On Feb. 12, English allegedly punched a family member in the face, unprovoked, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He previously had said the relative tried to touch him in his sleep, according to court documents.
In October, English was arrested and charged with assault with intent to kill while armed for stabbing his friend, and he also was charged at that time in the punching incident.
English was found hanged Nov. 30, and he was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to court documents.
The last person to kill himself in the D.C. jail was Josue Pena, 26, who was charged with killing a 9-year-old boy in Columbia Heights by firing a gun through a closed door. Pena was found hanging by a bedsheet in November 2009, several weeks after he allegedly shot Oscar Fuentes. There were suicides in the jail in 2006 and 2007, according to corrections officials.
Staff writer Susan Svrluga contributed to this report.