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District Man Convicted of Assault in Daytime Attack Last Summer in Northwest Washington | Crime

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District Man Convicted of Assault in Daytime Attack Last Summer in Northwest Washington


From the United States Attorney's Office:

Russell Brock-Smith, 25, of Washington, D.C., has been convicted by a jury of assault with intent to rob for attacking a transgender woman in broad daylight in Northwest Washington last summer, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.


The verdict, returned November 18, 2011, followed a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Honorable Thomas J. Motley ordered that Brock-Smith be held without bond pending sentencing on January 20, 2012. The conviction carries a sentence of between two and 15 years of incarceration, but Brock-Smith faces an enhanced sentence of up to life in prison because he has multiple prior convictions for crimes of violence.


According to the government’s evidence, on August 1, 2011, at about 5 p.m., the victim had finished a day of work and was walking in the 1400 block of Buchanan Street NW. Brock-Smith approached her and tried to pull her purse from her shoulder.  When she refused to give it up, he pulled her hair, punched her in the head, and tried to pull her into a nearby alley. 


The defendant fled when the victim threatened to call the police. The victim had the courage to follow the defendant and take a photo of him before calling police. The victim, who testified at trial, had lumps on her head from the beating and strands of hair falling from her head when police arrived on the scene after the attack. 


In announcing the verdict, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of Detective Robert Schmidt and Officers Bryon Words and Krystal Cannata of the Metropolitan Police Department. He also praised the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegals Wanda Trice, Tameka Garcia and Debra Smith; Tracy Van Atta of the Litigation Technology Unit, and intern Aglaia Ovtchinnikova. Finally, he acknowledged the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney Terry Eaton, who investigated and indicted the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Bednar, who tried the case.