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‘Today begins the first day of the rest of your life,’ judge tells shooting defendant as he ends his probation

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District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Rainey Brandt ended the shooting defendant’s probation during a July 9 hearing because of his “progress, despite some obstacles.”

Markeis Crandall, 20, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a firearm, knowingly and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence in 2022 for his role in a shooting that injured two people in the 2200 block of Minnesota Avenue, SE, on Nov. 26, 2021.

Crandall was sentenced to five years in prison, suspended, with two years probation.

He was originally charged with two counts of assault with intent to murder with a firearm, two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence and carrying a pistol without a permit.

While serving his probation, Crandall was held in the District of Columbia Jail for numerous violations and repeatedly admitted to court-ordered compulsory substance abuse treatment programs.

At the hearing, a representative from the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA) advised Judge Brandt that Crandall was the victim of a shooting. According to the representative, Crandall suffered a leg injury that has required and will require multiple surgeries, including an upcoming skin graft.

The representative ruled that probation “is no longer beneficial” for Crandall and his family, saying he has shown improvement. “I want him to have a chance,” the representative said, adding, “He’s thinking about big life decisions right now” after the shooting.

She asked Judge Brandt to end his probation period following his sentencing under the Youth Rehabilitation Act (YRA), which would seal his conviction.

The prosecution did not oppose the request, stating that it would appeal the court’s decision based on his record of reform. Sellano Simmons, Crandall’s defense attorney, agreed with CSOSA.

“I have dedicated the last two years to saving you from drug addiction,” Judge Brandt told Crandall, congratulating him on his progress.

“We have to do better,” she said, arguing that the shootings had become a social problem.

However, she said, being shot allowed him to “see up close what the victim was feeling in (this) case.”

“Today is the first day of the rest of your life,” Judge Brandt told Crandall as she ended his probation under YRA.

No further dates have been set.

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