The Washington Post

Southeast man sentenced to 21 years in prison for fatal shooting of man during attempted robbery

A District man was sentenced Friday to 21 years in prison for the 2011 fatal shooting of a man who was walking from a Metro station in Northwest Washington.

D.C. Superior Court Judge Russell F. Canan sentenced Anthony Speight Jr., 24, in the Jan. 19, 2011, shooting of William R. Mitchell, 33.

Prosecutors said that just after 11 p.m., Speight tried to rob Mitchell as Mitchell was walking near Florida Avenue and North Capitol Street NW after exiting a nearby Metro station.

Authorities said Speight approached Mitchell on a bicycle and demanded money. A female witness standing nearby tried to intervene, telling Speight she would call police. Speight knocked the phone out of her hand. As the woman bent to pick it up, Mitchell jumped on Speight’s back. The two men wrestled, and Speight pulled out a .357 magnum revolver and shot Mitchell four times.

Court records revealed one witness telling authorities that Speight admitted to the shooting because Mitchell had “taken him for a joke.”

In September, Speight pleaded guilty to second-degree murder while armed.

Mitchell’s family and friends filled an entire side of Canan’s courtroom during the sentencing.

Speight is scheduled to go on trial in July in an unrelated carjacking case. He was also arrested and charged in a carjacking that took place just hours before Mitchell’s slaying. Speight has pleaded not guilty in that case.

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 slain federal intern Chandra Levy.

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