Omare Cotton, the man charged with the 2010 killing of a former District of Columbia intern, was sentenced to 36 1/2 years in prison on Friday morning.
According to police records, on May 7, 2010, the victim, Alonte Sutton, refused to give Cotton’s girlfriend a ride in his car to her place of work. Sutton, 18, lived on the 200 block of Newcomb Street SE when this disagreement took place.
Cotton proceeded to slash Sutton’s car tires and chased him with a knife before Sutton was finally able to flag down a passing police car, prosecutors said. Cotton, who was on parole at that time for an armed robbery incident in Maryland, ran from police, according to police.
Sutton and his girlfriend returned to Newcomb Street the next day to change the tires on his car when Cotton came after Sutton’s girlfriend with a tire iron, authorities said. Officers say Cotton then retrieved his handgun and shot at Sutton while chasing the victim into the nearby woods.
Sutton was shot five times in the woods and was found the following day, which was Mother’s Day, according to police.
Investigators said Cotton attempted to change his appearance and hide the evidence, but the Metropolitan Police Department, through investigations, was able to bring a case against him.
In December 2011, Cotton was charged with second-degree murder while armed, assault with a dangerous weapon, threats, destruction of property, and various weapon offenses.
Alonte Sutton was an intern in the office of D.C. Council member Michael Brown.
“(He) was doing everything right,” said Brown. “And that's really the scary part about this violence; you can do everything right and still be touched by it. So we just have to do a much better job of embracing our young people.”
“This case demonstrates the utter foolishness of a decision to respond to some perceived slight with violence,” said U.S. Attorney Ron Machen. “A stupid argument over a car ride ended with the body of an 18-year-old boy being pulled from the woods on Mother’s Day. For that unexplainably senseless crime, Omare Cotton will spend the next 36 1/2 years in prison.”