A Southeast Washington man was given an 80-year prison term yesterday for the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old Anacostia youth in a dispute over a leather jacket.
Gregory Epps, 25, of the 1700 block of Minnesota Avenue SE, was the third defendant sentenced in D.C. Superior Court on murder, kidnapping and other charges in the December 2000 killing of Jerod L. Jackson. All were convicted in August.
Prosecutors said Jerod was slain after he recovered a stolen bomber-design jacket and was chased down by a group including the man who had been wearing it.
Two other assailants -- James Dowtin, 25, of the 1900 block of 16th Street SE, and Griffith Smith, 22, of the 1600 block of 16th Street SE -- were given similar sentences in the fall by Judge Judith Retchin.
Prosecutors said the chain of events began when someone stripped Jerod of his jacket on a cold day in December 2000.
A few days later, on Dec. 22, Jerod and his cousin Robert Pough, 23, were out with a woman when they saw Harold Howard, 19, wearing the jacket at 14th Street and Good Hope Road SE, prosecutors said. Pough retrieved it, and the cousins and the woman fled in their car.
Prosecutors said that an angry Howard enlisted Epps and Smith to give chase. The cousins' fleeing car eventually struck a pole in the 2900 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE. As Jerod ran away on foot, Epps and Smith pursued him, prosecutors said. After they caught Jerod, prosecutors said, they beat him and brought him back to the corner, where Dowtin was. He joined in beating Jerod.
Jerod got away but was chased and caught again, brought back to the corner and then placed in the trunk of Dowtin's car, prosecutors said. From there, at the order of Epps, Michael Bradford, Howard and Dowtin drove to Anacostia High School. Bradford, who was 15 at the time, has not been charged. He testified in the trial.
The men marched Jerod into woods and forced him to remove his clothes. Then, prosecutors said, Dowtin shot Jerod twice in the head.