A Waldorf, Maryland teenager received a five-year sentence in a D.C. juvenile detention center after pleading guilty to the killing of her 16-year-old friend, Naima Liggon. The incident occurred last year during a dispute over McDonald’s dipping sauce. The teen, who entered into a plea deal in December, will stay in the D.C. Department of Youth and Rehabilitation Services system until her 21st birthday, the maximum sentence allowed.
The fatal confrontation took place outside a McDonald’s on 14th Street and U Street in August 2023. The defendant informed detectives that the fight erupted over sweet-and-sour sauce. During the court hearing, Judge Andrea Hertzfeld viewed surveillance footage depicting a confrontation involving three women on the sidewalk in front of McDonald’s. Additionally, a slideshow featuring pictures of Liggon, created by her parents, was presented.
Three victim impact statements were heard, including those from Liggon’s parents. The defendant read a letter expressing remorse and a desire to undo the tragic incident. Liggon’s father, Wylace Liggon, spoke in court, expressing grief over the loss of his daughter and stating that forgiveness was not in his heart at the moment.
While Joy Liggon, Naima’s mother, acknowledged relief that the sentencing process concluded, she expressed dissatisfaction, believing that justice had not been served. The teen’s defense attorney sought one year of probation with homeschooling and volunteer work, but the judge deemed a stronger sentence necessary.
Judge Hertzfeld described the stabbing as a tragedy and questioned the motive, remarking, “This was really over sweet and sour sauce? It’s very hard to make sense of it.” The judge expressed difficulty understanding how someone with no criminal history could commit such a brutal act against a friend. The teenager will remain in juvenile detention, with the next hearing scheduled for March 8 to discuss placement in a therapeutic program.