March tallies more homicides than the last two months combined

By the close of March the nation’s capitol tallied 15 homicides, more murders than the past two months combined.

The first homicide was on March 3, when 41-year-old Desmond Joseph succumbed to his injuries. Joseph was injured the day before in an argument with construction worker Paul Hagan, 36. Hagan delivered a single punch that landed Joseph in the hospital and eventually claimed his life.

Hagan turned himself into police the night of the incident and now faces second-degree murder charges.

On the heels of Joseph’s death, on March 4 Delonta Alexander, 34, was shot and killed in Woodland with no suspect in sight.

Andrew McPhatter, 28, succumbed to his injuries, four days after being shot multiple times on 3500 Wheeler Rd., SE on March 5.

On March 10 officers found 24-year-old Tyrone Johnson fatally shot in the 2300 block of Pennsylvania Ave., SE. Johnson was taken to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Over the course of 24-hours Dennis Wise and Leonte Butler were both shot and killed in the Southeast quadrant.

Wise’s body was found early in the morning March 11.

The suspect, Kenneth Rice, was arrested and charged and now faces second-degree murder charges.

Butler, 26, was found unconscious and unresponsive when police arrived to the scene, in the 4000 block of South Capitol St., SE. Butler was pronounced dead on the scene.

On St. Patrick’s day, police found Bernard Coleman Jr., 43, dead in his house, 4000 block of Cole Blvd., SE with apparent gunshot wounds. A week later, police arrested and charged his son Bernard Coleman III, 23, with burglary and second-degree murder while armed.

Coleman III told police his father’s death was an accident.

Within the same hour officers found Coleman, police found 33-year-old Steven Edward Stewart Jr. laying on the ground in front of 2233 Minnesota Ave., SE suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Days following the incident police said they were looking for a black man wearing a black skully who was last seen running toward 19th Street.

March’s youngest victim, 18-year-old Ayana McAllister, was found suffering from gunshot wounds on March 20 on the 4300 block of Benning Rd., NE.

In a news conference, Interim Police Chief Peter Newsham said the teen was a college freshman visiting D.C. on her spring break.

McAllister succumbed to her injuries March 21, the same day a 34-year-old visiting artist was found dead in her apartment, 600 block of 14th St., NE.

A week after Corrina Mehiel was found with apparent stab wounds, police arrested and charged El Toure, 28, with her murder. According to charging documents, Toure allegedly tortured, killed and stole four-thousand dollars from Mehiel in the days following her death.

Toure marks the fourth and final suspect apprehended this month.

In the fifteen murders in D.C. this month, ten deaths were gun-related, three victims suffered from a stabbing and two had trauma-related deaths.

In the span of seven days D.C. saw three consecutive murders in the southeast portion of the city.

On March 23, Daquan Hooks, 38, was shot and killed on the 1900 block of 13 St., SE. The followed day Maurice Jackson, 32, was found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds at 1900 block of Fairlawn Ave., SE. The next day Nathaniel Davis, 24, was found fatally shot on Minnesota Avenue.

In the final week of March, police were called to Alabama Ave., SE and located a car accident that progressed into the death of 34-year-old Antwan Jones.

March’s final murder came as the month came to a close. Leoncio Loza, 75, was pronounced dead March 31. Ten days prior, police found Loza on a trail in Kenilworth Park, NE suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

The average victim for March was a 36-year-old male from the Southeast.
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Cases Closed

As a part a plea bargain Edy Martinez, 28, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter March 20. Martinez was sentenced to six years for stabbing her fiance, 32-year-old Pedro Sixto Esparragoza, in the heart. According to charging documents, Martinez killed her fiance during a heated argument about Esparragoza texting other women.

On March 24, 34-year-old Daniel Scott and Raymond Harper, 54, plead guilty to their involvement in James Neal’s 2015 murder. Scott pleaded guilty to second-degree murder while armed while Harper pleaded guilty to carrying a dangerous weapon.

Under the parameters of their plea bargains, Scott was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Harper was sentenced to a year for his involvement. According to charging documents, an argument over money quickly escalated into murder.

After two years in prison a jury found Dujuan Garris, 21, not guilty on March 30. Garris was found not guilty of all charges relating to and including the second-degree murder of 27-year-old James Anderson.

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