A District man was sentenced Wednesday in Montgomery County Circuit Court to five years in prison for participating with two others in a New Year’s Day armed robbery blocks from the Takoma Metro station.
Kyree Jordan, 19, who Montgomery police said was an affiliate of what they identified as the Maple Avenue Crew of the Criminal Street Gang, received an additional 20-year sentence, which was suspended by Judge Paul Weinstein.
In sentencing Jordan, Weinstein asked the teen how he had become involved with gang members.
“I made mistakes,” Jordan said.
“I can tell you’re not dumb,” Weinstein replied. “The only dumb part was getting involved in this.”
Timothy Clarke, Jordan’s attorney, said his client was “satisfied with the agreement negotiated for him.”
Police said that Jordan committed the crime with Joshua Baylor, 20, of Severn and Daquan Tyler, 20, of Silver Spring. Baylor pleaded guilty to armed robbery in July. A jury convicted Tyler of armed robbery and other charges on Tuesday.
According to court records, three men were walking on Cedar Avenue, headed toward the Takoma Metro station, just after 11 p.m. on Jan. 1 when Jordan and Tyler approached, pointed guns at them and ordered them on the ground. Baylor told police that he served as a lookout while the other two men committed the robbery.
One of the armed men warned the victims that if they did not give up their money, they would “blast” them, court records show.
One of the victims said Wednesday in a telephone interview that he still replays the robbery in his mind. “I’ll just keep thinking about the event, thinking if I could have done things differently,” he said. A 26-year-old District resident, he asked to be identified only by his first name, David.
The evening was warm for January, he said. The two men he was with had flown to the District from Vietnam, where they had been working. They had traveled to the District after same-sex marriage had become legal in the city and gotten married three days earlier.
When the three men were just blocks from the Metro station, the two men approached them, screaming at them and holding handguns with red laser sights attached, David said.
“I didn’t know what was going on. I thought it might be a post-New Year’s prank,” he said.
The criminals’ audacity perplexed him, he said. “In my mind, it was a risky place to attempt a crime in general. There are people around, and the police often hang out near that 7-Eleven, which is a block away,” he said.
The crime was over in minutes. The men sprinted off after grabbing the victims’ wallets.
David said he didn’t expect the investigation to go anywhere, but minutes after the robbers fled, Baylor used the debit and credit cards of another victim to buy two “Arizona brand drinks,” at a nearby 7-Eleven, according to court records.
Police said they pulled surveillance footage from the credit-card purchases to identify Baylor. He was arrested Feb. 20.
Police had arrested Tyler on an unrelated auto-theft charge less than a week before, according to charging documents.
In May, after police arrested Jordan, the case took another turn when investigators discovered that Tyler had tried to get his friends to stop Baylor from testifying in court, according to court records. Police found a photo on Jordan’s phone of a letter Tyler wrote to Jordan on the back of his charging documents. The letter asked Jordan to stop Baylor from testifying. Tyler also made two calls from jail in March, asking friends to tell Baylor not to testify, court records show.
“The system doesn’t work without witnesses,” said Jessica Zarrella, one of the assistant state’s attorneys who prosecuted Baylor, Jordan and Tyler.
“It’s offensive to us that someone would commit a crime and would try to elude justice by trying to intimidate a witness,” she added.
On Tuesday, a jury convicted Tyler of 10 counts of armed robbery, assault, firearm-related charges and witness intimidation. He faces up to 75 years in prison, prosecutors said.
Baylor pleaded guilty to armed robbery on July 24. He faces up to five years in prison.