DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. — 56-year-old Richard B. Washington faces a potential life prison sentence after a jury convicted him of burglary, robbery and related offenses for a 2019 home invasion and attack in a Hershey apartment complex.
According to the Dauphin County District Attorney's office, Washington faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 to 50 years of imprisonment with the possibility of life imprisonment. The severity of the sentence is due to Washington's lengthy criminal record that includes previous "felony crimes of violence."
The incident for which Washington awaits his sentencing occurred on Jan. 15, 2019 at the Briarcrest Apartments in Hershey. Officers from the Derry Township Police Department responded to a home invasion-robbery in progress just after midnight after a woman called 911 saying someone broke into her home and was threatening her roommate at knifepoint, according to the DA's office.
Officials say police officers arrived at the scene in minutes and arrested Washington after he tried to flee and struggled with officers in the parking lot of the apartment complex.
According to the victim of the attack, Washington opened her door with a flashlight and a knife in his hands and told her he was there 'rob her.' The victim said he covered her mouth with a rubber-gloved hand, hit her in the face and threatened her repeatedly.
The victim's roommate called 911 after hearing screams. The DA's office said Derry Township police arrived within five minutes of the first 911 call.
“The courage that these two women exhibited when facing every person’s greatest fear—being attacked in the middle of the night while you are in your bed—is remarkable," said Chief Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Gettle of the two roommates. "Then they were forced to relive that nightmare in a courtroom, in the presence of the attacker. Thankfully, due to their courage, the defendant will never be able to hurt another person again.”
A representative from the DA's office also thanked the quick response time of Derry Township police officers, saying “their quick response prevented the escape of this violent offender."
The DA's office said Washington's previous crimes include robbery with a firearm, robbery with a dangerous weapon, burglary of a home in which one or more person was present in Dauphin County, and numerous other theft and trespass offenses.
Washington's sentencing is scheduled for May 9.