District resident David Bright, 31, on Feb. 21 pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder while armed for the February 2016 murder of two housemates that law enforcement sources said were gay men.
Police and prosecutors have said Bright’s motive for fatally shooting Clifton David Francis, 51, and David Aumon Watkins Jr., 45, appeared to be a dispute over money and that there was no evidence to indicate the incident was a hate crime based on the victims’ sexual orientation.
During a preliminary hearing in April of 2016, D.C. police homicide detective Marvin Washington testified that an eyewitness told police Bright shot Francis and Watkins multiple times inside the rental house the three shared at 509 58th St., N.E. while in a rage and while acting like he was “crazy.”
Washington, in response to a question by a defense attorney, testified that the eyewitness had been in a “romantic relationship” with one of the two victims. Law enforcement sources said the eyewitness was a male.
The sources said Sgt. Jessica Hawkins, supervisor of the D.C. police LGBT Liaison Unit, and Officer Zunnobia Hakir, a member of the LGBT unit, were called to the scene on the day of the murders.
Court records show that D.C. police arrested Bright on a first-degree murder charge on the day following the shootings after talking to the witness and recovering the gun Bright allegedly used to kill the two men inside a car he had been driving. He has been held without bond since the time of his arrest.
A plea bargain offer to which Bright agreed recommends that he be sentenced to 33 years in prison. The final decision on the sentence will be up to D.C. Superior Court Judge Ronna L. Beck, who has scheduled a sentencing for May 11.