Kidnapper Gets 20 Years in Prison

Posted April 4, 2003 at 6:26pm

One of the men who kidnapped two House staffers last September was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday.

D.C. Superior Court Judge Russell Canan handed down the sentence to Johnny Littlejohn, 32, who pleaded guilty in December to kidnapping while armed. His co-defendant, Arvell Caldwell, 25, pleaded guilty in November and is scheduled to be sentenced by the same judge in May. The charges carry up to 30 years in prison.

Early on Sept. 18, 2002, the two defendants abducted Jerome Clarke and Eric Woehrman, who both work for Rep. Tim Johnson (R-Ill.), from the front of their home on Maryland Avenue Northeast with a loaded pistol and took them to a nearby ATM. Telling them he couldn’t withdraw money there, Woehrman convinced the kidnappers to drive them to the Longworth Building.

At the building’s entrance, Clarke managed to tip off the Capitol Police. At the same time Woehrman was able to disarm one of the perpetrators in the stolen Jeep where they were waiting. Two shots were fired during the struggle, but no one was injured.

— Suzanne Nelson