Student pleads guilty to October assault

A former GW student pleaded guilty in D.C. Superior Court last week to assault with a dangerous weapon for striking and kicking another student until he was unconscious outside of a local nightclub in October, court documents show.

Chad Dauman, a former junior who spent one semester at GW as a transfer student from the State University of New York-Albany, entered into a plea agreement at his status hearing last Friday. He pleaded guilty to the felony charge, which carries a maximum of 10 years imprisonment, court documents said.

The plea bargain conditions recommend that he be sentenced to no more than 20 months in prison and provides convicted criminals in the District under 22 years of age the opportunity to clear the conviction off their record after release.

Dauman will be sentenced May 19, said the office of Channing Phillips, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for D.C. By signing the plea bargain, Dauman waives his right to a jury trial and the right to appeal his conviction, court documents said.

Dauman got into a fight with GW senior Akeem Samuels about football outside of The Exchange, a G Street nightclub near Thurston Hall, in the early hours of Oct. 9, according to a police report. Dauman, then a GW student, was arrested Oct. 11.

Dauman has been under the supervisory custody of his father since Oct. 19 and is living in Plainview, N.Y., with an electronically-monitored 8:30 p.m.-to-7 a.m. curfew. He has completed a three-week alcohol and substance abuse program in New York and enrolled in an addiction and counseling program in November, court documents said.

Dauman’s lawyer, Thomas A. Key, was out of town this week and could not be reached for comment. According to the plea bargain conditions, Dauman could also be required to compensate for uninsured medical expenses incurred by Samuels due to the fight, as well as pay for lost tuition expenses since Sameuls’ injuries caused him to withdraw from his courses at GW last semester.

Samuels was in the Intensive Care Unit of the GW Hospital for nine days and remained in a regular room for about three additional days after the fight. He has sustained serious injuries to his shoulder, throat, jaw and brain, he said. He said he did not know Dauman before the night of the incident.

Samuels returned to campus this semester and said Wednesday that he is happy to be back at GW, taking five courses and doing two internships. He said he is recovering well from his injuries but recently had reconstructive surgery on his throat and is undergoing speech therapy at GW’s Speech and Hearing Center.

“I feel like I’m back to normal,” Samuels said. “I truly enjoy being back. I spent a long time at home.”

Samuels said that he hasn’t been very personally involved in recent developments of the case for his own “well being” but said that he will be meeting with his lawyer Friday to discuss the plea agreement Dauman signed last week.

Dauman’s criminal record shows that he was also arrested on March 12, 2005, in Albany for assault with intent to cause physical injury with a weapon and criminal possession of a weapon with intent to use, according to court documents. The record said the case was waived to an Albany City Court grand jury. It is unclear whether the arrest resulted in conviction.

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