The Washington Post

Man gets 20 years in shooting death of District man

A 19-year-old admitted killer was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday in the 2009 slaying of a District man who was gunned down two years after his teenage brother was killed in a controversial police shooting.

Jeffrey Britt pleaded guilty in April to second-degree murder and other crimes in the fatal shooting of George Rawlings, 21, who was attacked on the steps of a Metro bus in the 1300 block of H Street NE after attending the funeral of a childhood friend.

Two co-defendants — Javorick Moore, 19, of the District, and D’Angelo Edwards, 21, of Landover — also pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Rawlings’s death. They are awaiting sentencing in D.C. Superior Court.

Rawlings was the brother of DeOnte Rawlings, who was 14 when he was killed by an off-duty D.C. police officer who was trying to recover a stolen minibike in 2007.

After months of public controversy and allegations of police misconduct in DeOnte’s death, federal authorities said their investigation concluded that the shooting was justified. The incident remains a focus of civil litigation by the Rawlings family.

George Rawlings was shot nearly a dozen times as he was boarding a Metro bus shortly before noon Nov. 11, 2009. A short time earlier, he had been among about 100 mourners at the funeral of Ashton Hunter, 19, also a homicide victim.

The U.S. attorney’s office said that after Rawlings left the funeral that morning, he walked to a store. As they followed him, Britt, Moore and Edwards — who suspected that he was involved in Hunter’s killing, police said — each carried a loaded handgun, authorities said.

After leaving the store, Rawlings walked to a bus stop, and the assailants pulled out their guns as he was getting on a bus, authorities said.

“One of the co-defendants then repeatedly fired at Rawlings, hitting him numerous times,” the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement.

“Britt then fired twice at the victim,” the statement said. “Once they finished shooting, the three gunmen ran back toward the funeral home and eventually escaped from the area.”

Paul Duggan covers the Metro system and transportation issues for The Washington Post.

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