Washington DC

DC Man Sentenced to 27 Years in Murder of Single Mom

A Washington, D.C., jury found Darnell Sterling guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Olga Ooro

NBC Universal, Inc.

A D.C. man convicted of killing a woman as her 7-year-old son slept nearby was sentenced Friday to spend 27 years in prison.

Darnell Sterling, 57, was found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of 34-year-old Olga Ooro, who was his girlfriend.

Prosecutors said Sterling killed Ooro in July 2020, then carted her body out of her Northwest D.C. apartment building. Her body was never found.

“Today was the only day I knew I would look at him and never look at him again because I never see him. So I had to tell him in person … that you did wrong for him to realize that he did something wrong for the Ooro family," Ooro's father, Otieno Ooro, said after the sentencing.

Ooro was last seen the night of July 16, 2020, walking away from her home in the 300 block of Massachusetts Avenue NW. She had just returned home from dinner with her son and Sterling, authorities said.

Police learned Ooro was missing after her 7-year-old son was found wandering the halls of their apartment building alone two days later.

Otieno Ooro said his grandson still talks about his mother and yearns to see her.

“When you go to birthday parties with Malachi and he sees other kids playing with their mothers, he asks me, 'Grandpa, will I ever see my mother again? Will my mama come home?'" he said.

Sterling was arrested on July 23, 2020, after police said they saw him on surveillance video in Ooro’s apartment building struggling to pull a cart that had a large object consistent with the size of a person wrapped and covered with a blanket, according to court documents.

Evidence showed Sterling drove that night to Ocean City, Maryland, before returning the next day, prosecutors said.

Sterling told investigators he was in Ocean City at the time Ooro’s missing apartment building key fob was used, but police said tag readers showed his car in D.C., according to court documents.

Otieno Ooro said he still has hope that his daughter's body will be found one day.

“Yes, I would like to give her a decent burial. Without that, we can't rest. We don’t have closure. It’s sad. It's a sad, sad ordeal," he said with emotion. "He stabbed me in my heart, direct into my heart. He killed me, killed my spirits."

Sterling maintained his innocence in court Friday and said he would appeal.

Contact Us