A District man who said he was trying to be an “honorable son” was sentenced to 25 years in prison Wednesday after he was convicted in the killing of his mother’s fiance.
D’Juan Hunter, 39, shot Raymond Quattlebaum in Clinton on Jan. 1 and was found guilty of second-degree murder in August.
Prince George’s County prosecutors say tension between Hunter and Quattlebaum started around Christmas of last year, when Hunter arrived at his mother’s house in Clinton and greeted everyone but Quattlebaum. Afterward, Hunter’s mother told him to leave the house if he couldn’t be respectful toward her fiance, authorities said.
About a week later on New Year’s Day, as Hunter collected belongings from the house, he went upstairs, got a gun and shot a sleeping Quattlebaum three times, authorities say. Hunter fled from the scene, according to police, but authorities found him shortly afterward in Bowie.
“You took my brother’s life in a terrible way and we will never get him back,” Sandra Quattlebaum, the victim’s sister, told Hunter during his sentencing hearing.
Quattlebaum had three children, and in a statement read to the court, his niece said he was a good man who motivated her to stay in school. Her uncle died the day after his birthday, according to her statement.
During the sentencing hearing, Hunter addressed the court softly through tears, saying he did not approve of his mother dating Quattlebaum. Hunter accused him of being physically aggressive and said money and jewelry went missing from the house after Quattlebaum started dating his mother.
“I’m just a man who loves his mother,” Hunter said.
Many of Hunter’s friends spoke on his behalf during the hearing, talking about his work mentoring youth and teaching special education children in the county.
Prince George’s County Judge Melanie M. Shaw Geter said Hunter’s case was unusual as he is “the most highly educated defendant” she’s ever had in a murder case. Hunter has a master’s degree from George Washington University and attended private school, according to his attorney and friends.
Shaw Geter said Hunter should be removed from society but “that does not mean the court throws away the key.” Hunter could be eligible for parole after serving half of his sentence.
“I have given him the ability to make a difference in his life,” Shaw Geter said.