Jesus Danilo Romero Deleon Credit: via Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office

A Gaithersburg man was ordered on Friday to serve 28 years in prison for stabbing a man who “hurt his feelings,” according to court records.

Jesus Danilo Romero Deleon, 27, pleaded guilty in May to first-degree assault and criminal gang participation after stabbing a man outside of a restaurant in 2018.

On Friday, Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Cheryl McCally sentenced Deleon to 40 years in prison, but suspended 12 years, according to a news release from the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office.

According to court records, Deleon argued with a group of men on Jan. 27, 2018, outside a Germantown restaurant. The fight was broken up by security staff, but Deleon threatened one man with a knife and “displayed MS-13 hand signs,” court documents say.

“Bluntly, the victim hurt the defendant’s feelings in January. Because of those hurt feelings and his gang ethos, he planned and plotted against the victim,” court documents say.

On April 22, 2018, Deleon stabbed a man who was involved in the January fight as he exited a Gaithersburg restaurant.


Deleon fled the scene and was arrested a month later during an unrelated traffic stop, according to court documents.

“MS-13 members are known for their violence throughout the Washington DC Metropolitan area. They are known to have committed homicides, rapes, robberies, assaults, extortion, human trafficking, weapons offenses, and other crimes,” court documents say. “These crimes overwhelmingly target the immigrant community, enhance the status of the gang, and create fear in Latino communities.”

The county State’s Attorney’s Office requested a 40-year sentence. State sentencing guidelines recommended a 15-year sentence.


“The judge cited the nature of the crime, the leadership and ongoing participation in MS-13 of the defendant and the safety of the community, among other reasons, in her decision to go above the guidelines,” the State’s Attorney’s Office’s news release says.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at