Four more teens charged as adults in Woodley Park stabbing case
By Peter Hermann,
Prosecutors on Monday charged four 17-year-olds as adults in connection with a robbery and subsequent attack that ended with a young man being fatally stabbed at the Woodley Park Metro station.
The new charges bring to five the number of youths facing trial in adult court in the incident that D.C. police said started with the robbery of a $400 designer jacket and ended in a deadly confrontation on a train platform.
Authorities last week charged Chavez Tyrek Myers, 17, of District Heights as an adult with second-degree murder while armed and assault with a dangerous weapon. He is to have a preliminary hearing Friday in D.C. Superior Court.
Of the nine suspects arrested, four — two 15-year-olds and two 16-year-olds — are charged as juveniles. Police say they are searching for a 10th suspect, and authorities say more of the teens charged as juveniles could later be charged as adults.
The Nov. 17 killing of 18-year-old Olijawon Griffin of Olney raised concerns about robberies in the District and safety at Metro stations. The one in Woodley Park serves the National Zoo and the Adams Morgan neighborhood and nightlife area.
Griffin’s family had pushed authorities to charge all the defendants as adults. His aunt, Derdri Griffin, who lives in Atlanta and is serving as a family spokeswoman, declined comment Monday.
Olijawon Griffin graduated this year from Sherwood High School in Sandy Spring and worked as a driver for the National Institutes of Health. Sherwood’s principal said Griffin wanted to attend college and study sports medicine.
Names of the four 17-year-olds weren’t immediately released. They are expected to be arraigned Tuesday in Superior Court. Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office, said all are being charged with armed robbery.
Three are being charged with robbing Griffin of his jacket, Miller said; the other is charged with robbing one of Griffin’s friends at the Metro station.
Further details were not available Monday evening, but the case may be spelled out in greater detail in court documents expected to be made public Tuesday. Miller referred further questions to D.C. police, where a spokeswoman declined to comment.
The incident began shortly after midnight Nov. 17 when Griffin and his friends went to Adams Morgan. Griffin went to a McDonald’s restaurant on Columbia Road and left with some other young men to buy marijuana, police said.
They walked to an alley next to a gas station, police said, where Griffin was hit near his right eye and robbed of his black Helly Hansen jacket, iPhone and tennis shoes. He later got his shoes back.
Griffin and his friends then walked to the Woodley Park Metro station, where they saw 10 to 12 men on the train platform, according to charging documents filed in Superior Court.
Police said one of the men was wearing Griffin’s jacket.
Griffin shouted, “Give me my jacket back,” according to police, at which point the group surrounded one of Griffin’s friends and started to beat him.
Griffin went to help his friend, who was “being badly beaten while lying on the platform,” police said in the court documents.
Police said a surveillance camera captured Griffin squaring off with one of the men before a man with a knife — identified by authorities as Myers — came up from behind and plunged a knife into his chest.