Month in Review: February

The first homicide of the month came just hours after the sun set on Feb. 1. Police found 25-year-old Tyronn Hodges’ lifeless body in a car on the 900 block of Eastern Ave. NE.

The suspect, Myshawn Dondre Allen, 23, was arrested on the scene and charged with first-degree murder while armed and assault with intent to kill. Tensions were high during his arraignment Feb. 3 — a fight broke out in the courtroom when Allen was presented in court where he would later be ordered held without bond.

Out of seven homicides, police have made arrests in two cases.

Police are still searching for the person responsible for the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Derron Stover, the youngest victim of the month. According to a police spokesperson, police arrived on the 100 block of Burns St., NE and found Stover suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

Police are also investigating a shooting that took place two days after Stover’s death. Cheval Reid, 25, was found on Feb. 7 suffering from a gunshot wound on 1500 block of Irving St., NE. Reid was eventually pronounced dead on the scene.

Days later, Fox5DC broke news that Reid had a warrant out for his arrest for a prior robbery, though police said there did not appear to be a connection.

In the month of February, five homicides occurred in the Northeast quadrant of the city. One homicide occurred in Southeast, and one at the end of the month in Northwest. The streets in Southwest remained silent, following the same pattern as last month.

On Feb. 12, police responded to 3855 Eighth St. SE for reports of 13 gunshots, and there found Kenny Bell unconscious and unresponsive in a puddle of blood. Bell, 30, was pronounced dead on the scene.

Just three days after Valentine’s Day, 63-year-old Walter Clark’s battered body was found stowed in the closet of Thomasine Bennett’s house. Upon police arrival, Bennett admitted to beating Clark with a metal bat and said, “she was tired of loving him.”

In an interview with the Washington Post, family members said they don’t believe Bennett and Clark had a romantic relationship, and instead believe Bennett killed Clark over a $5,200 insurance check.

Clark’s murder is the single trauma-related death of the month.The remaining six homicides were gun-related deaths.

On the same day Clark was found, D.C. lost another member of it’s community. Police found 53-year-old Eric Wright suffering from gunshot wounds on 900 block of 12th St., NE on Feb. 17. Wright was brought to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The nation’s capital had it’s last homicide as the month came to a close. On Feb. 27 police responded to the unit Block of Hanover Place, NW, where they found 31-year-old James Mace suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Mace was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

The average victim for February was a 35-year-old male.

By the end of February, D.C. experienced 15 homicides in total as compared to the 18 tallied by this time last year.

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Case Closed

While police were responding to new cases, the courts were putting old cases to rest. Three murder suspects’ were sentenced — all the result of plea bargains.

Lakisha Young, 42, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. Young was sentenced to six years in prison for stabbing 50-year-old Alan Smith in July 2016. Young killed her long-time partner in front of their three minor children.

On Feb. 24, 17-year-old Kevin Lee pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and assault with a dangerous weapon. Lee was sentenced to 19 years in prison. According to charging documents, in August 2015 Lee fatally shot Tenika Fontanelle, 31, though her 12-year-old son was the intended target.

Malik Fields, 21, will serve 10 years in prison for the fatally shooting his 19-year-old girlfriend Anaiona Gaston over the summer. Fields pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter for firing a bullet into Gaston’s forehead as she held their sleeping baby.

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Cold Cases

This month last year nine people were killed. Of those cases, three remain unsolved and without an arrest.

Deandre Sibblies, 21, was fatally shot Feb. 22, 2016 on the 4500 Block of Quarles St., NE.

Police identified 23-year-old Michael Adams as the man fatally shot Feb. 19, 2016 on 900 block of Eastern Ave., NE. Adams was brought to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Jamar Morris, 28, was fatally shot around 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 9, 2016 on 100 block of M St., NW.

A year later, no suspect information has been released for the victims listed above.

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