Guilty plea in quadruple D.C. shooting
A District man pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree murder while armed in connection with a rampage in which four people were shot, one fatally, said Ronald C. Machen Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District.
Seneca Benjamin, 33, entered the guilty plea while a jury was deliberating his case in D.C. Superior Court.
Benjamin had already been convicted of 16 counts in connection with the shootings, including assault with intent to kill, aggravated assault while armed and mayhem while armed.
According to federal prosecutors, the violence occurred on the afternoon of April 26, 2009, in the unit block of Bryant Street NW.
Prosecutors said Benjamin periodically spent time at the Bryant Street home of an uncle and a cousin. According to the government's evidence, Benjamin went to the home that day and entered the second-floor bedroom where Monique Nalle, 42, lived with Andre L. Benjamin, Seneca's uncle.
Seneca Benjamin asked Nalle about a submachine gun, and Nalle said she did not know where it was, according to prosecutors. Nalle told Seneca Benjamin that she had heard from neighbors that he had slashed the tires on her son's car.
Benjamin denied doing so, then pulled out a handgun and shot Nalle in the head and chest, killing her, authorities said.
Andre L. Benjamin, who had been watching TV, dove at the defendant to try to protect Nalle, his fiancee, prosecutors said. Seneca shot him in the face.
Seneca then went downstairs, where he ran into Whitfield Arnett, a resident of the house, sitting in a chair. Seneca shot Arnett in the neck, chest, and fingers, according to prosecutors.
Andre L. Benjamin was in front of the house when he heard the shots, prosecutors said. Andre crept back into the house, where he ran into Seneca, who shot him in the chest. Seneca ran away through the back door, and was arrested four days later.
Though wounded, the two Benjamins and Arnett survived.
Benjamin is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Michael L. Rankin on Jan. 21. He faces a possible sentenece of more than 100 years.
This item has been updated and clarified.
| November 11, 2010; 8:05 AM ET
Categories: From the Courthouse, Ruben Castaneda, The District | Tags: D.C. crime
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