Two District Men Indicted for Violent Kidnapping Live-Streamed on Social Media
WASHINGTON (STL.News) Sincere Howard (“Howard”), 20, and Garrett Hawkins (“Hawkins”), 21, both of Washington, D.C., have been indicted by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia for conspiracy to commit kidnapping, kidnapping, and cyber stalking. The indictment was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin, Acting Police Chief Robert Contee of the Metropolitan Police Department (“MPD”), and Steven D’Antuono, Assistant Director in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”).
The investigation began after officers from MPD’s Violence Reduction Unit became aware on January 24, 2021, of a live stream on the Instagram social media platform showing an injured and distressed adult male being held against his will and assaulted. The defendants are alleged to have violently assaulted the victim, on January 23, 2021, with a variety of implements, including an electrical extension cord, all while broadcasting their actions on social media. MPD apprehended both defendants on scene and also recovered a firearm.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
In announcing the indictment, Acting U.S. Attorney Sherwin and FBI Assistant Director in Charge D’Antuono commended the work of MPD’s Violence Reduction Unit who investigated the case. Finally, they acknowledged the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emory V. Cole and William Hart, Paralegal Specialist Teesha Tobias, and Legal Assistant Kate Abrey of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.