On a Friday evening last November, Wayne D. Perkins, 16, armed with a pistol, and his brother Brian, then 18 years old, held up a dice game in an apartment hallway on Chapin Street NW. When one of the players ran for a door. Wayne Perkins panicked, his lawyer said yesterday, and began to shoot.
When it was over, Brian Perkins and another man were dead and two other persons were wounded, and Wayne Perkins was charged as an adult with the crimes. Yesterday, having pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, armed robbery and assault with intent to kill, the youth stood in the D.C. Superior Court, before Chief Judge H. Carl Moultrie I to be sentenced.
His parents sat in the dimly lit courtroom. Glen and Anola Perkins 10 years ago had brought their family fro a likely prospect of poverty in West Virginia to seek a better way of life in Washington. The parents worked two jobs and bought a home. Both in tears, they silently watched the end of their dream for their youngest son, one of their 10 children.
"Mr. Perkins does stand before the court for one of the most serious crimes that can be committed in our society," Moultries said. But, he added, "the penalty is being paid by many others."
A presentence report said that Wayne Parkins comes from a "rather intelligent family," Moultrie said, but Wayne Perkins "has been perceived as rather weak and inadequate," he tends to "bottle up his feelings," Moultrie said and sees himself as an outcast.
The report indicated Perkins has difficulty coping with everyday life, Moultrie said and has lost control of certain emotions.
But, the chief judge said, "can we honestly say a man of 16 years old, caught up in this riptide - can we honestly say he is not the kind of person who can be rehabilitated?"
At sentencing, Moultrie said, "the question is . . . What kind of a citizen would he be? What kind of person would he be? What would we have contributed to his life?"
He saw, Moultrie said, "the crying needs of this immature young man" and so, he decided to sentence him under terms of the federal Youth Corrections Act.
Moultrie sentenced Perkins to 20 years in prison on the murder charge and concurrent, indeterminate terms on the armed robbery and assault charges. The act provides for earlier release, but Moultrie said the court must be informed if Perkins is to be release before he has served 10 years.