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Post: Man involved in principal killing fatally shot in D.C.

Friday - 9/21/2012, 10:40am  ET

WASHINGTON - One of the men charged in connection with killing a D.C. middle school principal in 2010 has been shot and killed during a robbery attempt, the Washington Post reports.

Joel Johnson, 21, and an accomplice assaulted an unidentified man just before 8:30 p.m Wednesday. They forced him into his own apartment in the 4200 block of First Street, SE in an apparent attempt to rob him. A struggle ensued, according to a Metropolitan Police Department release, and Johnson was shot and killed afterward. His accomplice fled.

Police sources tell the Washington Post that Johnson was one of the four people charged in connection with killing Brian K. Betts in April 2010 at his Silver Spring home. A man named Joel Johnson was one of the four who pleaded guilty to the murder.

Then-19-year-old Alante Sanders pleaded guilty the following November to shooting Betts in his home after making initial contact through a sex chat line. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Johnson plead guilty to accessory after the fact to first-degree murder later that November.

The Betts family issued the following statement Thursday afternoon through attorney Rene Sandler:

We are deeply saddened that after Joel Johnson was given a second chance to become a productive member of society that he chose to continue to follow a path of crime and self-destruction which ultimately resulted in his death. The loss of our family member, Brian K. Betts, a beloved educator and inspirational member of the community has left a void for those who had the privilege to know him that will remain forever. Our sympathy is with the Johnson family at this time.

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