A D.C. man was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Friday and a Maryland man received a 20-year prison term for a shooting that stemmed from a fight over food and drinks at a family cookout, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District said.
Samuel Short, 39, of the District, and Perrin Archie, 46, of Temple Hills, were convicted in D.C. Superior Court in April on charges of assault with intent to kill while armed, aggravated assault while armed, assault with a dangerous weapon and related firearms offenses. D.C. Superior Court Judge Lynn Leibovitz sentenced the men on Friday.
The convictions stemmed from an attack on Short's cousin, Melvin Slater Jr., after an April 3, 2010, dispute.
Authorities said Short was hosting a cookout at which Archie, Short's longtime friend, was a guest. The party was held at the home of Short's and Mr. Slater's grandmother, in the 1000 block of Ninth Street in Northeast.
Mr. Slater came to the party late in the evening, said hello to Short and began to help himself to food and drink.
Short confronted Mr. Slater and demanded that his cousin contribute money to pay for his share of the food and beer. Mr. Slater refused. The argument escalated into a fistfight. Mr. Slater got the better of Short, and Archie intervened, pulling Mr. Slater off his friend.
After Mr. Slater left, Short angrily ended the party, telling everyone to go home. Authorities said he was overheard shouting that he would "teach him a lesson" and "I'm going to kill him."
Short and Archie were later seen leaving the area in Archie's station wagon. About 20 minutes after everyone left, Mr. Slater returned to the backyard of the Ninth Street home searching for his lost car keys.
As Mr. Slater left the yard through the back alley, he saw a man with a gun standing behind him, deep in the alley. An eyewitness heard gunshots and saw Short in the alley, shooting in Mr. Slater's direction.
Mr. Slater fled to West Virginia Avenue. As he ran, while looking over his shoulder at the gunman, he was struck in the face with a bullet. The bullet shattered Mr. Slater's jaw and several teeth and caused him to fall to the ground.
Authorities said a witness saw Archie, armed with a handgun, join the chase on West Virginia Avenue. Shooting as he ran, Archie chased Mr. Slater into another alley, where Mr. Slater again fell to the ground. Archie then fired a shot into Mr. Slater's abdomen, causing life-threatening injuries.
Witnesses to the shooting later saw Short and Archie return to the backyard of the Ninth Street home. The defendants were drinking beer and laughing when police and medical personnel arrived.
Mr. Slater survived the shooting, but only after receiving emergency medical attention and after spending months in the hospital recovering from his injuries.
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