`Prior History of Violent Behavior' Cited

Article excerpt

Excerpts from the sentencing memorandum submitted Oct. 7 by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth C. Kohl to D.C. Superior Court Judge Truman A. Morrison III in the case of Mary A.T. Anigbo, principal of Marcus Garvey Public Charter School.

In determining a sentence for these offenses, it is appropriate for the court to consider the impact of the defendant's conduct on the victims, the defendant's lack of remorse, the defendant's contempt for the court and the criminal justice system, the defendant's obviously untruthful testimony at trial, and the defendant's prior history of violent behavior.

Susan Ferrechio and the officers who were attacked by the defendant, David Poe and Darrell Best, have been victimized twice in this case - first by the defendant's conduct inside the school on Dec. 3, 1996, and then again by the defendant's outlandish public statements to the media directed at them personally.

Even after her conviction in this case, the defendant has failed to show the slightest remorse for her conduct. Indeed, in her remarks to the media immediately after the verdicts were announced Aug. 8, 1997, the defendant expressed only contempt for the court and the criminal justice system.

A defendant who expresses no remorse for her crime, and no respect for the court, shows little chance of genuine rehabilitation on probation. In this case, the defendant has encouraged a public campaign that portrays her as an innocent martyr, victimized by a legal lynching.

The defendant's conviction . . . is not her first offense. On March 14, 1986, defendant Anigbo was arrested on a Superior Court warrant on the charge of assault with a deadly weapon arising out of her violent attack on a District of Columbia process server, Juanita Harmon, and her niece, Katrina Carey, outside the defendant's home in the 100 block of Adams St. NE. Today, 11 years later, Ms. Carey still bears a large scar across her arm from the attack, which required 22 stitches.

Ms. Carey, then 21, was assisting her aunt, Ms. Harmon, then 25, in attempting to serve a civil summons on defendant Anigbo at around 1 p.m. on Oct. 1, 1986. Ms. Harmon went to the door first, and asked for "Mary." The defendant's daughter invited Ms. Harmon into the front foyer . . . When the defendant walked downstairs, she asked what this was about. Ms. Harmon explained she had documents to serve . . . concerning an unpaid bill at the Washington Hospital Center.

The defendant immediately became irate and directed several profane remarks at Ms. Harmon. Ms. Harmon announced she would leave the summons on a front radiator, and attempted to leave . . . Defendant Anigbo then jumped off the staircase and blocked Ms. Harmon's exit from the home, screaming, "You're not leaving." [She] then grabbed Ms. Harmon and a struggle ensued.

Ms. Carey attempted to enter the front door to assist her aunt. Defendant Anigbo's daughter then joined the assault, grabbing Ms. Harmon from behind and striking her repeatedly. Defendant Anigbo turned her rage on Ms. Carey, pulling her inside the house and attempting to choke her . . . [She] punched and kicked Ms. Carey.

Eventually, defendant Anigbo pushed Ms. Carey out the door and down the front steps. At some point . …