D.C. teen sentenced to seven years in attack on elderly Chevy Chase woman

An 18-year-old District teen was sentenced to seven years in prison for the November burglary and attack of an elderly Chevy Chase woman.

In February, Tyran Mcelrath pleaded guilty to the Nov. 7, 2012 robbery of the home of an 81-year-old woman in the 3500 block of McKinley Street NW. Prosecutors said Mcelrath broke into the woman’s home through a basement window while the victim was on the second floor listening to music. Police said Mcelrath stole the woman’s computer and some loose change from her purse. When the victim confronted Mcelrath, police said he then punched her repeatedly in her face until she lost consciousness.

Since the attack, prosecutors said Tuesday, the victim’s health had declined and she recently died.

Police were able to identify Mcelrath quickly as a suspect; Mcelrath was wearing a GPS ankle bracelet. Mcelrath had been arrested for similar crimes in the past when he was charged as a juvenile.

Mcelrath was arrested two days after the attack and, according to court records, admitted to the attack and robbery and said he felt “sorry for the lady.”

In addition to a prison sentence, D.C. Superior Court Judge Patricia A. Broderick also sentenced Mcelrath to five years of supervised probation following his incarceration.

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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