A former Arlington man pleaded guilty Tuesday in D.C. Superior Court to the 1992 fatal shooting of a District man who was sitting in his car with his girlfriend at Hains Point Park.
Prosecutors were scheduled to begin picking a jury in the trial of Lamont Deshawn Terry, 39, when Terry agreed to plead guilty to one count of second-degree murder in the cold-case robbery and slaying of 27-year-old Chet Hunter Matthews.
Terry was arrested in February in Columbia, S.C., and extradited to the District for trial. Prosecutors said that on the evening of Nov. 25, 1992, Terry, along with three other men, drove from Arlington into the District with plans to commit a robbery.
According to prosecutors, Terry was armed with a sawed-off shotgun, and the men drove to the Hains Point area of East Potomac Park about 11 p.m., where they parked. The men saw Matthews sitting in a vehicle on Ohio Drive SW with a woman. The men walked up to the car and Terry brandished the gun and ordered Matthews out of his vehicle and onto the ground. Prosecutors said Terry forced Matthews — who had recently been discharged from the Army — onto his knees and ordered him to remove his jewelry and hand over his money. The men also ordered the woman to lie on her face on the ground.
Two of Terry's friends, who eventually cooperated with prosecutors, told prosecutors that Matthews pleaded for his life and told Terry that he did not have any money. As Matthews fumbled to remove his jewelry, prosecutors say Terry shot Matthews once in the chest at close range. The four men fled.
Three of Terry’s friends have pleaded guilty in the case and were scheduled to testify against Terry at trial.
As part of the plea deal, prosecutors agreed to a 20-year sentence. Judge Robert E. Morin is scheduled to sentence Terry in November.
Outside the courtroom, Matthews’s sister, Judy Matthews, said that although she wanted Terry to get more than 20 years, she was just “glad to have it be over.”