Man sentenced to 30 years in 2020 fatal soup kitchen stabbing in DC

A D.C. man was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the fatal stabbing of another man outside a soup kitchen in the Foggy Bottom area in January 2020.

In a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C., prosecutors said Joseph Melton, 55, of Southeast, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder while armed and assault with a dangerous weapon on March 25.

Melton was involved in multiple stabbing attacks in the city on Jan. 14, 2020.

The first attack took place around 9:10 a.m. as he encountered a man named Kevin Chamberlain while Chamberlain was walking along the 1800 block of Connecticut Avenue in Northwest D.C.

Prosecutors said Chamberlain didn’t know Melton but recognized him from college. That’s when the 55-year-old pulled out his knife and attempted to stab him.

Chamberlain ran away and reported the incident to police.

The second attack took place around 1:15 p.m. in the 800 black of Vermont Avenue near the McPherson Square Metro Station. Melton stabbed another man so badly that “his intestines were protruding from his body,” according to charging documents.

Officials said the second victim survived the stabbing incident.

Melton confronted Chamberlain again around an hour later outside Miriam’s Kitchen on Virginia Avenue in Northwest and stabbed him again, repeatedly. Chamberlain died from his injuries a few hours after the incident.

Court documents state that Melton’s 366-month sentence carries a mandatory minimum term of 10 years and 5 years of supervised release.

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Tadiwos Abedje

Tadi Abedje is a freelance digital writer/editor for WTOP. He was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Northern Virginia. Journalism has been his No. 1 passion since he was a kid and he is blessed to be around people, telling their stories and sharing them with the world.

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