An 18-year-old from District Heights who fatally stabbed another teen at the Woodley Park Metro stop after a dispute over a stolen Helly Hansen jacket pleaded guilty Wednesday to first-degree murder, becoming the last of 10 teenage defendants to enter pleas in a case that made headlines in November.
Chavez Myers’s plea in the Nov. 17 fatal stabbing of Olijawon E. Griffin, 18, of Olney came as his trial was scheduled to begin in D.C. Superior Court.
Over the past several weeks, prosecutors, led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Dillon, were able to secure plea deals from each of the other defendants on a variety of charges, including voluntary manslaughter while armed and robbery associated with the attack.
If Judge Ronna L. Beck accepts his plea, Myers faces a maximum of 30 years in prison and five years of supervised probation at his sentencing in December. His attorney, Janet Mitchell of the District’s Public Defender Service, told the judge that her client would have faced a maximum of 60 years in prison had he gone to trial and been found guilty.
According to prosecutors, Myers and a group of friends had planned a robbery spree in the Gallery Place and Adams Morgan neighborhoods when they encountered Griffin and his friends in the 1800 block of Adams Mill Road in Adams Morgan.
Griffin allegedly asked whether he could buy marijuana from Myers’s group. When Griffin walked into a secluded area with Myers’s friends, one of them pulled out a semiautomatic pistol, pointed it at Griffin and removed Griffin’s $400 Helly Hansen jacket, prosecutors said.
After the robbery, Myers and his friends ran from the scene, only to encounter Griffin and his group minutes later in the Woodley Park Metro station. There, Griffin’s group saw one of Myers’s friends, a co-defendant, wearing Griffin’s black designer jacket.
Griffin and his friends approached the other group and tried to retrieve Griffin’s jacket. Myers’s friends converged on one of Griffin’s friends, beating and kicking him. As Griffin tried to intervene, prosecutors said, Myers reached over and stabbed him in the chest. The stabbing, prosecutors said, was captured on Metro security cameras.
During the hearing, Griffin’s family members wiped away tears. Griffin’s brother, Isiah Hollins, 23, said that he was “relieved” much of the case was over and that he thought 30 years in prison was a “reasonable” sentence.
Hollins described how his brother worked two jobs, one in recycling waste management at the National Institutes of Health and the other as a cook at a Five Guys burger restaurant in Olney, to purchase the jacket.
“This was senseless. They did not have to kill him over a jacket,” Hollins said.