Shooter who killed man in front of his children in D.C. gets 13-year sentence

A District man who fatally shot an acquaintance who was walking his two children to school last year was sentenced Wednesday to 13 years in prison.

Jarell Harris, whose name is also spelled Jarrell Harris in court records, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the 2022 fatal shooting of Sedrick Miller, 42. Miller had dated Harris’s sister, according to court records.

Prosecutors said the two men had an ongoing dispute, and Harris fatally shot Miller, who was holding the hand of his 5-year-old child and carrying his infant in a car seat in his other hand. The incident occurred about 8:30 a.m. on March 4, 2022, in the 2300 block of 18th Street NE.

Prosecutors said Harris fired 13 shots, striking Miller 11 times, all in his face and upper body. Neither child was physically injured, prosecutors said.

Harris, who was on probation at the time for three separate gun possession cases, was arrested two months later. He was charged with first-degree murder while armed.

As a part of the plea agreement, prosecutors and Harris’s attorneys agreed to a sentence of 10.5 to 13 years. At the hearing Wednesday in D.C. Superior Court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Prava Palacharla asked a judge to impose the full 13 years.

“This is an especially tragic crime. Surveillance video depicted the images of the defendant standing over the decedent and continuing to fire multiple times,” Palacharla said. “This is a particular egregious crime on the morning of a school day. This should not have happened.”

The 28-year-old Harris, who is a trained boxer, apologized to Miller’s family and his own.

“I am very sorry for what I have done,” Harris said. “Nothing justifies to taking a man’s life. I felt threatened at the time. I felt that was the last option. I realize today, that was a decision I shouldn’t have taken. I realize today there are other avenues I could have taken. I am very, very sorry.”

In addition to the 13 years, Harris could face prison time for the three previous unlawful gun possession cases in which he was on probation at the time of the shooting. Judge Rainey Brandt ordered Harris to undergo mental health and substance abuse treatment while incarcerated.

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