Friday, May 25, 2007

Two ex-convicts have pleaded guilty to robbing and killing a Jewish politician from Britain in an affluent Washington neighborhood

Associated Press:

Jeffrey RiceChristopher Piper

Christopher Piper, 26, and Jeffrey Rice, 23, pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder and robbery charges in the killing of Alan Senitt, whose throat was slashed July 9 in front of a mansion in the U.S. capital's Georgetown neighborhood. Piper also pleaded guilty to a sex abuse charge, and Rice pleaded guilty to gun charges stemming from the incident.

They each face up to 100 years in prison in the killing and are scheduled for sentencing Aug. 24 in District of Columbia Superior Court.

Senitt was murdered during a spike in violence that led police to declare a crime emergency last July.

Senitt, 27, was walking a female friend home after a night at the movies when they were accosted by four suspects, prosecutors said. Piper, who had a pellet gun that was painted to look like a regular handgun, stole the woman's purse and reached inside her blouse, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Nihar Mohanty.

When Senitt tried to help his friend, Rice stabbed him in the chest and slit his throat, Mohanty said.

A 15-year-old boy has pleaded guilty to juvenile charges, and the case of the fourth suspect who allegedly drove the getaway car, Olivia Miles, remains sealed, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

Senitt came to Washington to study politics and volunteer for former Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner's potential presidential campaign. He had also worked for Greville Janner, a member of Britain's House of Lords.

Piper and Rice also pleaded guilty Monday to charges in three other robberies that were carried out in the weeks before the killing. Prosecutors said no one was hurt in the earlier robberies.

Piper was released from prison early last year after serving time for armed robbery and marijuana possession. Rice was released from jail last May after violating probation on a cocaine conviction.

Jewish politician from Britain murdered in Washington D.C.

Guilty Pleas in British Activist's Death


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