Washington, DC - A Washington, D.C. man was sentenced to 18 months in prison for his April attack on a federal prosecutor outside the Superior Court for the District of Columbia, announced Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

Maurice Hight, 28, who pleaded guilty on October 10 to one count of felony assault on a federal official, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman of the District of Columbia to serve 18 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.  According to admissions made in connection with his plea agreement, on April 5, 2018, Maurice and his sister and co-defendant, Tiera Hight, 21, were in a courtroom in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia waiting for a verdict against their brother, who was being tried for murder.  After the guilty verdict, Maurice and Tiera Hight exited the courthouse and waited outside.  Several minutes later, the murder victim’s daughter exited the courthouse, escorted by a federal prosecutor.  As they approached the street, Tiera Hight walked directly towards the pair and she and Maurice Hight began to circle them.  Tiera Hight then began to spit on the murder victim’s daughter and physically attacked her.  The federal prosecutor intervened, but Tiera Hight continued her attack.  Maurice Hight then joined the fight, forcibly grabbing the federal prosecutor, pulling her down and punching her in the right side of the face with a closed fist.  The federal prosecutor fell hard to the ground and sustained swelling and bruises to her face and arm.  Two deputy U.S. Marshals in the area placed Maurice Hight under arrest, and Maurice Hight proceeded to spit in the face of one of the deputy U.S. Marshals.  

“The Department of Justice is committed to protecting the safety of our federal officials,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski.  “As this case demonstrates, we will not tolerate any violence against our federal prosecutors for doing their jobs in upholding the rule of law.”

Tiera Hight is scheduled to be sentenced on February 19, 2019 before Judge Friedman.

The Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Unit for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia investigated this case. Trial Attorneys Jennifer A. Clarke and Lauren Bell of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section are prosecuting the case.