United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein announced that a federal jury has recommended the death sentence for Kenneth Jamal Lighty, age 23, of Hillcrest Heights, Maryland, as the penalty for his conviction for the January 3, 2002 kidnapping and murder of 19 year old Eric Larry Hayes, II, the son of a District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department officer. On October 21, 2005, the same jury convicted Lighty and co-defendant James Everrette Flood III, age 28, of Washington, D.C. of kidnapping and murder. Lorenzo Anthony Wilson, age 22, of Hillcrest Heights, Maryland was previously convicted of conspiracy to kidnap on April 8, 2005 in a separate trial.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said, “These defendants abducted the victim in Washington, D.C. and brought him into Maryland, and Lighty viciously executed him. Each defendant will pay a heavy penalty for their roles in the crime. I commend the jurors who gave this case their full attention and dedication for several weeks. Their verdict reflects the judgment of the community that this random violence will not be tolerated.”
According to evidence established at trial, the three defendants abducted Mr. Hayes from the 3200 block of 8th Street, S.E., Washington, D.C., by forcing Mr. Hayes at gunpoint into their car. The defendants then transported Mr. Hayes to Prince George’s County, Maryland.
During the time of his abduction, Hayes was pistol whipped and shot several times in the face, head and limbs. His body was found off a residential street in Temple Hills, Maryland. Three weeks later, the evidence at trial showed that Lighty and Wilson participated in a January 30, 2002 drive by shooting which resulted in the death of Antoine Newbill, age 22, and injured two other persons. Lighty was arrested with the gun in the District of Columbia on January 31, 2002. He was on probation for a drug offense and on bond pending robbery charges in Prince George’s County, Maryland at the time of his involvement in these crimes.
Flood faces a mandatory sentence and Wilson faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. United States District Judge Peter J. Messitte scheduled sentencing of Wilson on December 19, 2005, Flood on January 11, 2006 and Lighty on February 3, 2006.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force and the Prince George’s County Police Department for their investigative work, and thanked the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia for their assistance. Mr. Rosenstein also commended Assistant U.S. Attorneys Deborah A. Johnston and Sandra Wilkinson, who are prosecuting the case.