DC man pleads guilty to Metro stabbing

Photo: CNN

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A guilty plea was entered today by the defendant in a 2015 fatal Metrorail stabbing that occurred on a Red Line train.

Jason Spires, 21, plead guilty to the charge of first degree murder in the death of Kevin Sutherland, 24. He is accused of following Sutherland across the platform and onto a downtown-bound train, putting gloves on as he did, and then attacking Sutherland with a knife once the train was in motion.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says that Spires first snatched Sutherland’s phone from his hand, then began to attack him with a knife, stabbing him in the stomach, back, both sides and both arms as he fell to the floor of the train, and kicking him in the body and head. They say that Spires finished this attack by flinging Sutherland’s phone at him, hitting him in the head.

Sutherland died on the train of 19 stab wounds, some of which were so deep, the medical examiner reports, they caused damage to his internal organs. Witnesses sat with Sutherland until emergency personnel arrived, but when they did, it was already too late. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

The prosecution says that during the attack, witnesses tried to alert the train operator, but Spires ‘menaced’ them with his knife and told them to shut up. They also say he robbed other witnesses on the train. When the train pulled into the NOMA-Gallaudet station, Spires apparently got off the train, ran down the stairs, and discarded his knife in a trash before fleeing the scene.

Spires was arrested on July 6, 2015, and has been in custody since then. His plea deal is for an agreed-upon sentence in the range of 30 to 35 years. The judge in this case will decide on Jan. 12, 2018, whether or not to accept the plea.