Suspect Pleaded Guilty in the Death of Elaine Coleman, Kingman Park Resident

As a community please we need to write Community Impact Letters to the Judge and US Attorney’s Office about how the death of Elaine Coleman: Friend and Kingman Park Neighbor affected our community. If you would like to submit a letter, please contact me.


Lisa White ANC Commissioner Kingman Park

Article from the Washington Examiner:

A man who served prison time for manslaughter has pleaded guilty to killing his girlfriend by stabbing her dozens of times.

John W. Smith Jr., 46, pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree murder in the December stabbing death of Elaine Coleman. Coleman, 47, was found slain on Dec. 4 in her apartment on the 500 block of 23rd Place NE Washington.

A medical examiner found that Coleman was stabbed 41 times in her face, neck and chest, according to court documents. The stab wounds to her neck “almost decapitated” the woman and severed her spinal cord, the documents say.

Smith was charged with first-degree murder in a Baltimore stabbing death in July 2005; he pleaded guilty to manslaughter the next year, court records show. He received an eight-year sentence but was released in November 2010, according to a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

Smith’s attorney couldn’t be reached for comment.

Court records say that Coleman and Smith had a strained relationship. Coleman had repeatedly kicked Smith out of the house; Smith believed Coleman was continuing to see an old boyfriend and was using Smith for money.

On person told police that Smith was “very possessive” of Coleman, court records say.

Another person told police that Smith had recently obtained some “settlement money” and Coleman had asked for help with the mortgage. Smith thought she was trying to rip him off, court documents say.

And Smith told someone as recently as shortly after Thanksgiving — about a week before Coleman was found fatally stabbed — that he was going to kill her, according to court records.

Coleman’s body was found when a friend who couldn’t contact the woman went to check on her. The friend found Coleman face down on a mattress on the floor. Her head was covered with a pillow and the floor, wall, pillow and mattress where smeared with “a large amount” of blood, court documents say.

Smith was arrested earlier this month. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 30. He could receive up to 40 years behind bars, according to his plea agreement.

Photo courtesy of D.C. police

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