3 Men Plead Guilty in Fatal Shooting of 11-Year-Old Davon McNeal

NBC Universal, Inc.

Three D.C. men pleaded guilty Friday in the fatal shooting of an 11-year-old boy on July 4, 2020, authorities said. 

Davon McNeal, the son of a violence interrupter, had just stepped out of his mother’s car in the 1400 block of Cedar Street SE when gunfire erupted. They had just held an anti-violence cookout in the neighborhood they moved out of because it was too dangerous.

Davon was struck in the head. Prosecutors say he was an innocent bystander.

Daryle Bond, 20; Marcel Gordon, 26; and Christan Wingfield, 24, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter while armed. Bond’s plea calls for a sentence of seven-and-a-half to nine years in prison. Gordon’s calls for 10 years, and Wingfield’s calls for a nine-and-a-half years. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 3.

“They’ll be out maybe in five years, and my grandson will never be back here again,” said John Ayala, Davon’s grandfather. “He only lived on this planet for 11 years, so it’s not a good feeling at all.”

Davon's family believes giving them a plea deal is like getting away with murder.

“It is a burning emotion right now,” Ayala said. “I feel like I’m on fire.”

A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office released a statement saying, “These plea agreements followed a thorough investigation and analysis of the events of that tragic night. The U.S. Attorney’s Office typically analyzes many factors in plea discussions, including the facts of the case, the evidence, the investigation, relevant case law, and concerns of the victim’s family.”

Ayala believes there was enough evidence to get a conviction at trial.

“They could have took them right to trial, but they decided to give them a plea bargain, and again, it’s not acceptable,” he said.

The Metropolitan Police Department had assigned a 24-hour detail to the block where Davon was killed because of a shooting the previous week, court documents say. An officer was in the area on July 4 but was called away to another incident just minutes before the gunfire began.

The arrest affidavits say at least four men were part of warring “crews” operating in Southeast. 

Investigators spoke with several witnesses and reviewed extensive surveillance footage from the area. Detectives found more than a dozen shell casings from five guns.

A fourth defendant pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder while armed with aggravating circumstances, conspiracy and other offenses. He is awaiting trial.

Contact Us