The Washington Post

Virginia men sentenced to decades in prison for 2011 fatal beating of Northeast Washington man

A D.C. Superior Court judge sentenced three Virginia men convicted of murder to 36 years in prison Wednesday, about half of the time prosecutors were seeking.

Judge Thomas J. Motley sentenced Theodore “Reggie” Spencer, 23, of Unionville, Va., to 36 years in prison and his two friends, Terrell A. Wilson, 20, of Culpeper and Philip Swan, 21, of Orange, Va., to 34 and 30 years in prison respectively.

Prosecutors said Spencer, with the help of Wilson and Swan, drove into Northeast Washington and choked, beat and stabbed Glenn Scarborough, 61, leaving him to die in his apartment in the 1300 block of Levis Street NE.

Prosecutors argued that Spencer, a mixed-martial arts expert, targeted Scarborough because Scarborough had been in a long-term relationship with his mother, and Spencer believed Scarborough was abusing his mother. Spencer’s mother was in a Washington hospital dying of cancer when Spencer and his friends attacked Scarborough.

Prosecutors said there was no evidence that Scarborough had abused Spencer’s mother, Sharon Spencer, and that family members had instead disliked Scarborough and told Spencer that Scarborough had abused his mother. Spencer’s mother died just days after the attack.

A jury found the three men guilty of first-degree murder in Scarborough’s killing in October. Prosecutors originally asked for 60 years for Spencer, 45 years for Wilson and 30 years for Swann. For each defendant, 30 years was the mandatory minimum each man faced.

Attorneys for the men said Spencer went into a rage out of grief for his mother against the man he believed had abused her, and that Spencer and his friends had went to Scarborough’s apartment to gather Spencer’s mother’s belongings, not to kill Scarborough, but that a fight had broken out.

Prosecutors argued that the men had attacked Scarborough the night prior to the fatal attack as well, and had returned to his apartment the following day.

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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