WASHINGTON — With her eyes downcast and her face covered by a mask and a plastic shield, the youngest girl who attacked UberEats driver Mohammad Anwar near Nats Park in March pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree murder.
Prosecutors agreed to drop armed carjacking and other charges against the 13-year-old girl in exchange for the guilty plea. D.C. Superior Court Judge Lynn Leibovitz set sentencing for July 6, but said the maximum time the teen can be held, even on a murder charge, is until she turns 21; she's about to turn 14.
WUSA9 had to agree not to name or otherwise identify the girl to be granted access to the juvenile court proceedings.
The girl appeared via WebEx, backed up against a painted cinderblock wall at a youth facility where she is detained with the other girl, 15, who has also pleaded guilty to murdering Anwar, a grandfather and immigrant from Pakistan. A GoFundMe to help Anwar's family has raised more than $1,000,000.
Prosecutor Baki Baruwa said Anwar had agreed to give the girls a ride in his Honda Accord, but when they got to a side street near the ballpark, the girls tried to take his car and his belongings.
Baruwa said the youngest girl stayed in the passenger seat, while the 15-year-old climbed into the driver's seat. He said Anwar pleaded with passersby for help and asked them to call the police, but the older girl lied to the witnesses, telling them it was her mother's car.
Anwar blocked the older girl from closing the driver's door, but was half-in and half-out of the car as one of the girls screamed, "Go, go, go!" and jammed it into gear, according to Baruwa.
A gruesome video shows the Accord racing down Van Street SE, with the driver's door flapping open and Anwar hanging on. The door slams into a tree and crushes him, then continues speeding down the street until the older girl makes a sharp right on N St. SE and the car flips over, throwing Anwar to the pavement and killing him.
Both girls jump out of the car and try to escape, but are stopped by witnesses.
"All true?" the judge asked the girl in the hearing.
"Yes," she responded.
Then the judge asked her to raise her right hand.
"How do you plead?" the judge asked.
"Guilty," she said in a calm, clear voice.
WUSA9 also learned the girl has already been found responsible. which is juvenile court language for guilty, in two other cases, one of them an unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Judge Leibovitz said she plans to sentence her in all three cases in July.
The 15-year-old girl is slated to be sentenced on Friday. Prosecutors reserved the right to ask for the maximum sentence in both cases.
D.C. police say carjackings in the area around Nats Park have tripled in the last year.
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