WASHINGTON – Donnie Bean, 49, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to seven years in prison on charges stemming from incidents over a 90-minute period in which she struck numerous cars and pedestrians, including a police vehicle, while driving under the influence of alcohol and cannabinoids in downtown Washington, U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips announced.
Under what is known as the Alford doctrine, Bean pled guilty in May 2017 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of felony assault on a police officer. Under an Alford plea, the defendant does not admit the allegations but agrees that the government has enough evidence to secure a conviction.
The plea, which was subject to the Court’s approval, called for an agreed-upon sentence of five to seven years in prison. The Honorable Danya A. Dayson accepted the plea today and sentenced Bean accordingly. Following her prison term, Bean will be placed on three years of supervised release.
The plea involved a series of incidents that took place on Saturday, May 7, 2016, from approximately 5:45 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. According to the government’s evidence, Bean was under the influence of alcohol and cannabinoids, as well as suffering from unmedicated mental health conditions, that day when she drove a black Honda Civic in downtown Washington.
At approximately 6 p.m., according to the government’s evidence, she ran a red light at the intersection of Seventh Street and Florida Avenue NW. She struck a bicyclist and continued through the intersection, then striking and knocking to the ground a 9-year-old girl who was crossing the street with her family. The child was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.
At about 6:10 p.m., Bean nearly hit two other people who were in a crosswalk at Fifth and H Streets NW. After one of the pedestrians yelled at her, Bean replied with words to the effect of “You wanna make it real?” and made a U-turn and then drove back at them. They escaped harm by dodging behind a traffic signal pole.
Shortly thereafter, according to the government’s evidence, Bean rear-ended a car at Fifth Street and Massachusetts Avenue NW. The driver of that car got out of his vehicle, tapped on Bean’s window, and told her not to leave. Bean backed up and accelerated toward him, hitting him and flipping him over her car into the middle of Massachusetts Avenue NW. The man was treated on the scene by paramedics and later went to the hospital with minor injuries.
Bean continued to flee. Officers with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) saw Bean driving erratically and attempted to stop her. An officer, who was in full uniform and driving a marked police car, saw her in the 1200 block of V Street NW and attempted to stop her. She tried to leave the scene, rammed her vehicle into the police car, and fled westbound into the 1300 block of V Street NW. The officer pulled alongside Bean’s car, trying to stop her, and she rammed her car into the side of his police vehicle several times. He eventually was able to stop Bean. Several officers removed her from the vehicle and placed her in handcuffs.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Phillips commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Advocates Jennifer Clark and Diana Lim, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Natasha Smalky, C.B. Buente, and Vanessa Goodwin, who investigated and prosecuted the case.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
District of Columbia