One of the teens involved in the carjacking death of an Uber Eats driver has been sentenced to the maximum sentence allowed.
A 15-year-old girl was sentenced on Friday to the custody of the Department of Youth Rehabilitative Services until she turns 21 in the death of Mohammad Anwar, 66, of Springfield, Virginia, in a carjacking near Nationals Park on March 23.
The 15-year-old and a 13-year-old girl used a stun gun to carjack Anwar, and video of the carjacking showed Anwar holding on to the inside of the door as one of the girls stepped on the gas pedal. His car hit a curb and tipped on its side, landing on top of him.
In plea deals, both girls have pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
The 15-year-old girl sat still in the courtroom as Anwar’s family members spoke to her, and the court, in the virtual hearing.
Anwar’s niece said their world was turned upside-down and the nightmare continues because of the video footage of the carjacking is all over the internet.
“There are nights we cannot sleep, and the horrific video replays in our heads over and over and over again,” his niece said. “We are haunted by the image of his broken, crumpled body on lying on the pavement and him struggling to move.”
Anwar’s daughter had harsh words for the teenager: “I can never, and will never, forgive you for the pain you caused him,” she said through tears.
She said Mohammad Anwar had worked all his life in Kuwait to provide for the family, while the children lived with their mother in Pakistan. It was just in the past decade they were all able to move to the United States and finally be together as a family.
“How do I console my mother who sits silently all day since March 23rd?,” she asked through tears.
She said her father was very sensitive to pain, even avoiding taking his blood sugar levels at times because he couldn’t handle the pain of the little needle.
“I cannot get past the fact of him enduring the pain of the injuries you caused him. I cannot move past that sidewalk on N Street on March 23rd, where he lay broken, while one of you was only concerned about your phone. You broke most of the bones in his body. No amount of years you spend in any facility can ever make you go through even one percent of that pain,” she said.
She added that her father was a victim of the city.
“I want to say how my father was failed by the law and this city. I know one of the respondents had a prior criminal history and she was let go,” she said. “What kind of law is it that lets criminals get away within hours of a crime so they can come back, emboldened with no fear of consequences. Is the law protecting us or is it protecting them?”
The 15-year-old then spoke to the court and the family.
“No matter how much stuff I’ve been through, I would never intentionally murder somebody or I would never intentionally hurt somebody,” she said. “None of this was intentionally. I never would have thought that this would go this way. I just want them to know that I apologize. If I could take it back I would.”
Prosecutor Bonnie Lindemann asked Judge Lynn Leibovitz for the harshest punishment possible.
“We are here because of the choices the respondent made on March 23, 2021,” Lindemann said. “While we do not believe she intended to kill him, that does not make it an accident. The respondent chose to help her co-respondent steal a car. She could have told her co-respondent that this was enough and it was time to stop. The respondent didn’t do that.”
Ed Shacklee, with the Public Defender’s Office, reminded the court the girl was a child.
“Tragic things can happen when you don’t think about all the consequences, especially when you’re doing something wrong,” Shacklee said. “That is something that we as adults know, and it’s something that young people need to learn. Sometimes young people that have had a lot of challenges in their life learn it too late. That is why we’re here today.”
He pointed out that the girl had been crying in remorse at the police department, and that she was quick to enter a guilty plea, after realizing what she had done.
In her ruling, Judge Lynn Leibovitz said that while watching the video, it was extremely hard to imagine how a person could be so unfeeling in that moment.
She sentenced the girl to confinement until she turns 21, calling it “the maximum sentence I can impose.”
The 13-year-old will be sentenced next month.