A D.C. Superior Court judge yesterday sentenced two Southeast Washington men to a minimum 44 years in prison each for killing the manager of a McDonald's restaurant during a holdup last year.

Chief Judge H. Carl Moultrie I sentenced David M. Jones, 30, and John R. Young, 33, to 20 years to life for the murder of store manager George M. Knights, plus three terms of five to 15 years for armed robbery, two terms of three to 10 years for assault with a deadly weapon and three to 10 years on a single charge of carrying a pistol without a license.

Moultrie ordered all seven terms to run consecutively. D.C. law requires that the minimum sentence on each charge be served before the men can be considered for parole.

Knights was killed March 16 after Jones and Young entered the restaurant on Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue NE and ordered checkout clerks to empty the cash registers. Jones vaulted the counter, forced Knights to open a safe at the back of the store, then shot him in the head at point-blank range.

A security guard at the same restaurant had been shot and killed two months earlier.

Jones and Young escaped from the restaurant with the money and with a recently installed security device that had been hidden in the cash. The device exploded, staining the money and their clothes with red dye. Some of the stained clothing was presented as evidence at their trial.