District Man Sentenced to 39-Year Prison Term in 2011 Slaying in Northeast Washington
Defendant Came to Ex-Girlfriend’s House with Gun, Killed Her Brother and Shot at Her Father
|U.S. Attorney’s Office May 17, 2013|
WASHINGTON—Brandon Andrews, 31, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 39 ½ years of incarceration on charges stemming from the killing of a man in Northeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr. announced.
Andrews was found guilty in February 2013 by a jury in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia of second-degree murder in the slaying of his ex-girlfriend’s brother, Leonard Bigelow, 43. The jury also found him guilty of a charge of assault with a deadly weapon for shooting at Mr. Bigelow’s father; threats to injure for threatening his ex-girlfriend; and related weapons offenses. He was sentenced by the Honorable Robert E. Morin.
According to the government’s evidence, Andrews and Mr. Bigelow’s sister dated for approximately 10 months. However, on August 22, 2011, she ended the relationship after Andrews threatened her while they were driving through the District of Columbia.
After the break-up, Andrews repeatedly tried to call and sent text messages to his ex-girlfriend, but she did not respond. Many of the defendant’s text messages included profanity, threats, and demands that she answer him. Andrews also went by the Bigelow family home repeatedly, though he was uninvited and unwelcome.
On August 23, 2011, for example, Mr. Bigelow was with his sister at their home when Andrews came by. Andrews and Mr. Bigelow argued when Mr. Bigelow informed Andrews that he was unwelcome and that his sister did not want to talk to him. Andrews’ ex-girlfriend became so concerned about his behavior that she sought a protective order from the court the following day to keep Andrews away from her and her family.
On August 25, 2011, Andrews demanded his clothing via text messages. The following day, the ex-girlfriend dropped off the clothes on a street corner near a homeless center in the 400 block of 2nd Street NW, where Andrews stood and resided. She did not give them to Andrews directly because she feared him. Later that day, Andrews sent text messages claiming that the clothes were taken by others before he could retrieve them. He also used profanity and threatened her property and her safety.
On the evening of August 26, 2011, Andrews called and texted his ex-girlfriend multiple times, but she did not respond. Then, Andrews called her home. Mr. Bigelow answered the phone and told Andrews that his sister did not want to see him or speak to him. Andrews declared that he was coming to the home at approximately 10 p.m. Mr. Bigelow said that he would be there.
Andrews arrived about 10:45 p.m. with a loaded semi-automatic pistol in his pocket. He emerged from an alley and into the 1300 block of Emerald Street NE and walked toward the house. Mr. Bigelow, his sister, and his father saw Andrews coming. Mr. Bigelow went onto the front porch with his father, while his sister called 911. Andrews stopped in front of the house and, without a word, shot at Mr. Bigelow and his father twice. He struck Mr. Bigelow with a bullet in the chest. Andrews then walked back the way he came. Mr. Bigelow collapsed and died that night from the gunshot wound.
On August 27, 2011, law enforcement located Andrews at the corner of 5th and F Streets NW. When he was arrested, he told the police that he had a gun in his pocket. The police found in his pocket the loaded .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol used to kill Mr. Bigelow.
At trial, Andrews claimed self-defense and alleged, among other claims, that at the time of the shooting Mr. Bigelow charged at him with some type of weapon in his hand. The government strongly disputed Andrews’ claim. According to the government’s evidence, Mr. Bigelow did not have a weapon and did not approach Andrews.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of the detectives and officers of the Criminal Investigations Division and the First District of the Metropolitan Police Department and the FBI Fugitive Task Force. He also expressed appreciation to those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Snyder, who secured the indictment in the case, Criminal Investigator John Marsh, Victim Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker, Victim Witness Specialist Katina Adams-Washington, Leif Hickling of the Litigation Technology Unit, and Paralegal Specialist Marian Russell. Finally, he praised the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney Shana L. Fulton, who tried the case.