Man charged in domestic homicide rejects plea offer

The man charged with the fatal stabbing of Cheryl Schafer last April rejected a plea deal Thursday.

Charles Sykes, charged with second-degree murder while armed, entered a not guilty plea by reason of insanity. The government had extended a plea deal, where Sykes would plead guilty to one count of voluntary manslaughter while armed. The relationship between Sykes and Schafer was not disclosed, but police have classified the homicides as domestic in nature.

Police received a call for a suspicious package in the apartment building in the 4000 block of Tunlaw Road, NW at around 6:10 a.m. last April. Police later tweeted that the homicide was a domestic incident, and a person of interest had been detained.

When responding to the building, police found Schafer with stab wounds. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

A status hearing was scheduled for April 24.


Comment guidelines:

D.C. Witness is a place where we want our community to come to remember loved ones and comment on homicide cases. These discussions often entail topics that we all personally care a lot about and will passionately discuss. But in order for discussions to thrive here, we need to set a few ground rules. Comments will be edited or deleted if they include vulgarity, name-calling, cursing or inflammatory language. Comments that include unverified information, slander, or hateful speech will be deleted. We reserve the right to edit comments to ensure they reflect the intent of the writer but make them publishable. If you believe your comment has been edited or deleted in error, please contact Jennifer Swift,