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The man who shot and killed a cab driver in Adams Morgan and subsequently had a shootout with police last summer pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Wednesday in D.C. Superior Court.
Ercell Overton, 32, also pleaded guilty to two counts of felony assault on a police officer while armed, U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen Jr. announced.
If the court approves it, the plea agreement would call for a prison sentence of 25 to 28 years.
The fatal shooting of Solomon Okoroh, 57, occurred around 3 a.m. on June 4, 2013. MPD police officers in a vehicle patrolling Adams Morgan heard a single gunshot and then saw a speeding taxi pass by them. As it passed, the cops, according to a press release from the District’s U.S. attorney’s office, say they saw a “muzzle flash” and heard a second gunshot from inside the passenger compartment of the taxi.
The cab ultimately crashed into a parked car and, upon impact, an unarmed man fled from the car. Officers briefly chased him and he was arrested without further incident.
Overton then appeared behind the police car and pointed a gun at one of the officers who was in the driver’s seat. That officer got out of the car and took cover. Overton ran behind the fence line of a house in the 2300 block of Ontario Road NW and shot his gun at two of the three police officers. They fired back and Overton forced his way into a basement apartment on the block, but the MPD officers ultimately got into the apartment and arrested him.
The cab driver, Okoroh, was shot twice in the back and died in a hospital about two hours after the shooting. Before he died, Okoroh gave a description to the cops of his shooter. His description matched that of Overton.
Homicide Watch reports that Overton signed an Alford plea, which means that he is pleading guilty without actually admitting to the criminal act. He says he was on PCP at the time of the shooting and does not remember what happened.
The shooting jolted the Adams Morgan and taxi communities and prompted legislators to examine safety measures in place for taxi drivers and passengers.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery.