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Gay man murdered in D.C. apartment

Police say surveillance camera captured ‘person of interest’



D.C. Police Capt. Michael Farish said Delando King was found unconscious and stabbed in his apartment shortly after 6 p.m. Monday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

A 34-year-old gay man who was found stabbed to death in his D.C. apartment Monday night was last seen by friends leaving a gay bar over the weekend, said the city police homicide squad’s supervisor.

Capt. Michael Farish told reporters at a news briefing Tuesday that police discovered the victim, Delando King, unconscious and suffering from stab wounds in his apartment along the 1100 block of 10th Street, N.W., shortly after 6 p.m. Monday.

A separate police statement said police and a D.C. Fire & Emergency Medical Services crew rushed to the scene in response to an emergency call.

“Upon arriving on the scene they discovered a male victim unresponsive and suffering from apparent stab wounds; he was subsequently pronounced dead,” said the statement.

Farish confirmed the location as an apartment in a high-rise building at 1117 10th Street, N.W.

A surveillance camera at the building captured video footage of King entering the building with an unidentified male guest, Farish said. He noted the surveillance video also shows the unidentified man leaving the building a short time later carrying a bag that he did not have when he entered the building with King.

He said police planned to release photo images of the unidentified man taken from the video. Farish described the unidentified man as a “person of interest” rather than a suspect until investigators gather more information about the circumstances surrounding the case.

“We know two of the clubs [the victim] was at,” said Farish. “We’re looking for the public’s assistance if they saw him in another club.”

According to Farish, King was out with friends at the two clubs police have identified.

“They were able to give us a timeline as to when he left,” he said. “It’s after 12:30 Sunday morning where it becomes a little sketchy as to where he was and where he may have met somebody else. So if anyone knows Mr. King or if he was a regular anywhere, we’re definitely looking for the public’s assistance in identifying that, especially if they saw him in the company of anybody.”

Farish declined to identify the clubs that King patronized with friends in the hours before his death, saying investigators would rather have members of the community come forward with the names of places King may have visited that investigators don’t know about.

But one source familiar with the case said King had patronized the gay club Fuego on Friday night and early Saturday morning. Fuego, which caters to the LGBT Latino community, operates only on Friday nights and rents space at a non-gay club at 1818 New York Ave., N.E.

The owner of the Fuego nightclub venue could not be immediately reached.

King’s death comes one week after D.C. police released an alert to the LGBT community noting that five separate attacks against men are being investigated. All five attacks occurred in the city between June 2 and July 30 and are believed to be motivated by anti-gay bias.

The alert said that while police were examining the cases for possible similarities, they had yet to confirm whether they cases were related or whether any two or more of the assaults were committed by the same perpetrators.

Farish said homicide detectives investigating King’s murder were aware of the separate incidents, but don’t believe they are linked to King’s death.

“What we’re dealing with in this incident has no indication of being related to those incidents,” he said.

King worked for the federal government as an employee of the U.S. Indian Health Service, which is an arm of the Department of Health & Human Services.

“We at the Indian Health Service are very saddened to learn of the death of our colleague Dalando King, who was a member of the Navajo Nation,” the IHS said in a statement released Tuesday.

“Mr. King was a dedicated employee and a friend to many in the Washington area American Indian community. We extend our deep condolences to Mr. King’s family,” the statement says.

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  1. Bob

    August 11, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Thanks for covering this story. Hope you keep it up.

  2. Kraig Rasool

    August 11, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Its very sad to see so many people in the gay community being snuffed out by those without a conscious…It is
    paramount that these murderous individuals be punished to the full extent of the law so as to send a message that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated in DC or its surrounding suburbs…It also shows how just meeting a stranger on the street and taking them possibly home is a a very dangerous decision.

  3. Damien Marcus

    August 11, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Very sad. I am just hoping that this does not trigger “copycat” attacks/murders as happened in London several years back.
    I have been in DC for 2 years and every month there is always some type of incident — as in every major city. Yes, we have come a long way over the years in terms of marriage, equality laws, etc,etc…. but the bigots are still out there with their hatred and only too happy to meet out punishment — up to death — as they see fit. The DC LGBT community should always remain vigilant — see something, say something — DC has LOTS of cops, so give them more things to do !

  4. charley

    August 11, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    What’s going on in D.C.? I keep reading stories of anti-gay violence. Don’t think I’ll be planning any trips there soon.

    • Bill

      August 12, 2010 at 10:50 pm

      The city is a pit. There is tremendous anti-gay violence (and has been for years). Further, there are roving gangs of black thugs going into gay-identified neighborhood to assault and rob gays. The police can’t / won’t or both act to stop the violence (plus the cops are pretty homophobic). I wish there would be a national boycott by gays against the city until DC is cleaned up and safe. PLEASE, don’t bring Gay Games to DC.

  5. Moppijmj

    August 11, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    This is heart breaking news, how can man be so cruel? The world used to be fun back in the day, now it is filled with so much hate and anger. Devistated and feeling the pain of losing another young man’s life, so much potential… taken by an evil individual. Hope they find this individual and give him the maximum punishment. Rest in peace Delondo.

  6. R.GA

    August 11, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    PLEASE BE CAREFULWHEN YOU ARE OUT! ALWAYS KNOW who you meet before going home with them, or be aware if someone is following you!
    RIP Delando,…you will be missed

  7. Kevin

    August 11, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    Stop bringing heterosexuals to your apartment or home and this won’t happen. There are heterosexuals out there that will pretend to be gay so they can get into your place to kill you. The robbery is an afterthought. Make sure the men you bring to your place are gay.

    • Kevin2

      August 11, 2010 at 9:25 pm

      If they’re pretending to be gay, how can you “make sure” before you bring them into your home?

    • daddylicious

      August 11, 2010 at 9:35 pm

      And here we thought that asshattery was reserved for homophobes! Or, perhaps, Kevin is too young to vividly remember the exploits of Andrew Cunanan? Queers abuse and/or kill other queers more often than hets inflicted hate violence on Queers; and a Queer can be motivated to steal from a hook-up because of homelessness, drug addiction, or a pathology of rage.
      Still, a good rule of thumb when hooking up with a stranger is to not do it with anyone who cannot be validated by someone you trust. That may limit the amount of dick and ass one gets, but it will keep you from becoming an item on the police blotter.

    • Tyler

      August 12, 2010 at 12:32 pm

      Are you serious? You don’t think gay men committ crimes? Hell they do. Stop bringing strangers you meet at bars/clubs, on the street and definately leave the online sex-hook up sites alone. Time for gay men to get some standards about their lives. Is hooking up all that defines you as a person? We failed the 1970’s gay/sex revolution big time.
      But that doesn’t mean this guy had to die and I’m not blaming him at all. Because it doesn’t matter gay or straight, people are dying and becoming victims of crime all the time for annonymous sex.

  8. George

    August 14, 2010 at 5:39 am

    I still haven’t seen any photos relesed by the police yet, what are they waiting for? If the photos have been released, could someone post a locaiton where they can be found. I don’t understand what the hold up is on releasing the photos. DC Police Department get off you butt and release the photos before this person strikes again!!!!

  9. LauraH

    August 16, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Murder is murder and it doesn’t matter who does it or why – it’s wrong!

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Heather Mizeur congressional campaign raises more than $1M

Former Md. delegate challenging Andy Harris



Heather Mizeur, Delman Coates, Montgomery County, Silver Spring, Maryland, Maryland House of Delegates, Democratic Party, gay news, Washington Blade, momentum
Former Maryland state Del. Heather Mizeur is running for Congress (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Heather Mizeur has raised more than $1 million in her campaign against anti-LGBTQ Republican Congressman Andy Harris in Maryland’s 1st Congressional District.

“No candidate in #MD01 of either party, incumbent or challenger, has ever hit the $1M milestone this early in the election cycle,” Mizeur tweeted on Oct. 6.

The Victory Fund in an Oct. 8 press release said 80 percent of this $1 million came from Maryland-based donors, “a sign the district is ready for new representation.” And Mizeur continues to outpace Harris, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission that say she raised $717,445 for the cycle ending June 30, while Harris raised $425,288.

“Andy Harris has taken every opportunity to attack and vilify trans individuals, trying to score political points with his base at the expense of the safety of some of his constituents,” Mizeur told the Washington Blade.

In 2014 Harris made the Human Rights Campaign’s “Hall of Shame” for proactively working “to undermine existing legal protections and promote anti-LGBT discrimination.”

“In contrast, the LGBTQ community knows me for my record,” Mizeur said. “And knows I’ll always lead with compassion and stand up for civil and human rights. I think the 1st District will respond to my message of respect and understanding.”

Mizeur, who now lives on the Eastern Shore with her wife, served on the Takoma Park City Council. Mizeur was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates for eight years.

In 2014, she launched a long-shot, grassroots campaign for governor where she finished a strong third in the Democratic primary, despite being outraised by better-known opponents.

But Mizeur also said she is aware of the challenges her team faces in taking on a well-entrenched Republican in a solidly conservative district.

The Cook Partisan Voter Index in 2017 rated the district as R +14, meaning the previous two presidential election results in the district skewed 14 percentage points more Republican than the national average.

“We have over $760,000 in the bank, and we’ve outraised him during our time in the race,” Mizeur said. “We’re raising the money we need to go toe-to-toe with Andy Harris next year.”

The Baltimore Sun in February reported Harris was “flush with campaign cash” mostly due to a 2010 redistricting that “packed” the area with Republican voters to increase Democrats’ chances in other district races.

“Yes, Andy Harris has over $1 million in the bank, stockpiled over a decade in office,” Mizeur said. “But in the short time I’ve been in the race, we’ve cut significantly into his cash on hand advantage.”

Harris has represented the 1st Congressional District—which includes Maryland’s Eastern Shore and parts of Baltimore, Carroll and Harford Counties—since 2011 and easily fended off most challenges with at least 60 percent of the vote. These challengers include Mia Mason, a transgender military veteran, who ran against him in 2020.

The 2010 redistricting made Harris’ seat safe enough not only to donate nearly a third of his war chest to conservative groups and candidates, such as U.S. Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), but to openly court controversy himself.

Harris last year openly defended then-President Trump’s discredited efforts to overturn the 2020 election. And in December he signed onto an amicus brief supporting a failed lawsuit contesting the presidential election results.

This year he downplayed the violence of the Jan. 6 insurrection in which numerous police officers were attacked, members of Congress were threatened, and the U.S. Capitol was vandalized.

Mizeur told the Blade that while Harris’ actions regarding the Jan. 6 insurrection were the catalyst for her challenging his seat, she feels the district is changing and he no longer represents their interests.

“Our supporters know he’s been embarrassing Maryland in Congress for far too long, and that some of his actions have shown he’s completely unfit to serve in public office, regardless of ideological views,” Mizeur said. “They want someone who will bring compassionate leadership and innovative thinking back to the first district. And that’s appealing to people across party lines.”

Maryland’s primary election is June 28, 2022, and its general election follows on Nov. 8.

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AU student expelled over arrest in attack on gay Asian man, parents

Patrick Trebat no longer affiliated with university



(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

An American University graduate student who was arrested by D.C. police on Aug. 7 on charges that he assaulted a gay Asian man and the man’s parents while shouting homophobic and anti-Asian slurs “is no longer affiliated with the university and will not be allowed on campus,” according to a report by WTOP News.

In an Oct. 9 broadcast that it updated this week, WTOP said Patrick Trebat, 38, who had been taking a night class at the university’s Kogod School of Business, was banned from returning to the campus.

Charging documents filed in D.C. Superior Court show that Trebat was charged by D.C. police with one count of felony assault, two counts of simple assault and one count of destruction of property for allegedly assaulting and injuring Sean Lai, 30, an out gay man of Chinese ancestry, and his parents on the 3700 block of Fulton Street, N.W., on Aug. 7.

The charging documents say Trebat allegedly began to follow Lai and his parents as they were walking along the street in the city’s Observatory Circle neighborhood near the National Cathedral. According to a statement by a police official from the police district whose officers made the arrest, Trebat punched and kicked the three victims as he stated, “Get out of my country.” The police statement says the family was taken to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

A separate police report says Trebat shouted the word “faggots” at the family and shouted, “You are not Americans!”

Based on these allegations, prosecutors classified the assault charges as an anti-Asian bias related crime, but they did not add an anti-gay classification to the charges.

Court records show that Trebat was released two days after his arrest while awaiting trial under the court’s High Intensity Supervision Program, which, among other things, imposed a curfew requiring him to return home by 10 p.m.

An Oct. 8 story in The Eagle, the American University student newspaper, says it learned that Trebat’s attorney filed a motion in court, which the Washington Blade also discovered from court records, asking a judge to extend the curfew deadline from 10 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. so that Trebat could attend at night class at American University.

The motion, which prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office did not oppose and the judge approved, identified Trebat in the public court records as an AU graduate student.

According to the Eagle, representatives of the university’s Asian American and LGBTQ student groups criticized university officials for not alerting students that an AU student charged with an anti-Asian hate crime while hurling homophobic slurs had access to the campus and could pose a danger to students.

“Patrick Trebant is not affiliated with American University and is not allowed on campus,” AU told the Blade on Wednesday in a statement. “While we cannot discuss details of an individual matter, when a student has been arrested, charged, convicted of, or sentenced for a felony crime, the university’s student conduct code provides for an administrative adjudication process. The safety of our students and our community is our priority.”

The Eagle reports that the code of conduct states that the dean of students or their designee can administratively adjudicate a case when a student has been accused of a non-academic offense “where the student has been arrested, charged, convicted of, or sentenced for a felony crime” for certain misconduct. The code of conduct applies in a situation in which a student is arrested for an off-campus allegation.

Court records show Trebat is scheduled to return to court at 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 15 for a felony status hearing before Superior Court Judge Judith Pipe.

Neither Trebat nor his attorney, Brandi Harden, could immediately be reached for comment.

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Two remaining defendants in D.C. trans murder case accept plea bargain

Dee Dee Dodds murdered in Northeast Washington in 2016



Deeniquia Dodds, gay news, Washington Blade
Deeniquia ‘Dee Dee’ Dodds was killed in 2016. (Photo via Facebook)

Two of the four D.C. men who were charged with first-degree murder while armed for the July 4, 2016, shooting death of transgender woman Deeniquia “Dee Dee” Dodds on a Northeast Washington street pleaded guilty on Sept. 30 to a charge of voluntary manslaughter as part of a plea bargain deal offered by prosecutors.

A four-page letter providing details of the plea bargain offer made by prosecutors with the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, which was filed in D.C. Superior Court, states that the agreement accepted by defendants Jolonta Little, 30, and Monte T. Johnson, 25, includes the decision to drop the murder charge in exchange for a guilty plea to a single count of voluntary manslaughter.

It says that in exchange for the guilty plea prosecutors will also drop additional charges originally brought against Little and Johnson, including robbery while armed, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, and unlawful possession of a firearm.

The agreement also includes a promise by prosecutors to ask Superior Court Judge Milton C. Lee, who is presiding over the case, to issue a sentence of eight years in prison for both men.

The letter spelling out the details of the plea deal makes it clear that it will be up to Lee to decide whether to accept the eight-year jail term proposed by prosecutors, and there is no guarantee that Lee will not hand down a sentence with a longer prison term.

It states that under the D.C. criminal code, a conviction on a voluntary manslaughter charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. Attorneys and observers of the D.C. courts have said judges usually agree to a recommended sentence by prosecutors in cases involving a plea bargain agreement.   

The letter describing the terms of the plea agreement in the Johnson and Little cases does not say whether prosecutors will ask Lee to deduct from the proposed eight-year jail sentence the time that the two men have already spent in jail since the time of their arrest. But in most criminal cases, judges agree to provide full credit for time served in jail prior to a conviction and sentencing.

Johnson has been held without bond for just over five years since his September 2016 arrest. Little has been held without bond for four years and eight months since his arrest in February 2017.

The plea bargain deal came two and a half years after a D.C. Superior Court jury became deadlocked and could not reach a verdict on the first-degree murder charges brought against Johnson and Little following a month-long trial, prompting Lee to declare a mistrial on March 6, 2019.

The two other men charged in Dodd’s murder, Shareem Hall, 27, and his brother, Cyheme Hall, 25, accepted a separate plea bargain deal offered by prosecutors shortly before the start of the 2019 trial in which they pled guilty to second-degree murder. Both testified at the trial as government witnesses.

In dramatic testimony, Cyheme Hall told the jury that it was Johnson who fatally shot Dodds in the neck at point black range after she grabbed the barrel of his handgun as Johnson and Hall attempted to rob her on Division Avenue, N.E., near where she lived. Hall testified that the plan among the four men to rob Dodds did not include the intent to kill her.

In his testimony, Hall said that in the early morning hours of July 4, 2016, he and the other three men made plans to commit armed robberies for cash in areas of D.C. where trans women, most of whom were sex workers, congregated. He testified that the four men got into a car driven by Little and searched the streets for victims that they didn’t expect to offer resistance.

D.C. police and the U.S. Attorney’s Office initially designated the murder charges against Johnson and Little as a hate crime based on findings by homicide detectives that the men were targeting trans women for armed robberies. However, during Johnson and Little’s trial, Lee dismissed the hate crime designation on grounds that there was insufficient evidence by prosecutors to support a hate crime designation.

At the request of prosecutors, Lee scheduled a second trial for Johnson and Little following the deadlocked jury in the first trial. But court records show that for reasons not disclosed in the public court docket, the start of the second trial was postponed several times. The most recent postponement was due to restrictions placed on the court related to the COVID pandemic.

As of August, of this year, the court records show, the second murder trial for Johnson and Little was scheduled to begin on Feb. 17, 2022. But the records show that as of Sept. 30 of this year the defense attorneys and prosecutors reached an agreement over the plea bargain deal offered by prosecutors. It was on that day, the court records show, that the two men officially agreed to plead guilty to the lower charge of voluntary manslaughter and waived their right to a trial. The following day, on Oct. 1, Lee accepted the guilty pleas and scheduled the sentencing for Dec. 10.

Meanwhile, Cyheme Hall and Shareem Hall have remained in the D.C. jail since the time of their respective arrests. Court records show they were scheduled to be sentenced by Lee on Dec. 20, 10 days after the sentencing for Johnson and Little.

It couldn’t immediately be determined from the court records whether prosecutors allowed the Hall brothers to also plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter and have dropped the second- degree murder charge to which the two men pled guilty back in 2019 as part of an earlier plea bargain deal.

At the time Johnson and Little’s trial ended with the deadlocked jury in March 2019, LGBTQ activists expressed alarm that the jury’s action appeared to be a repeat occurrence of several previous D.C. cases in which male attackers charged with assaulting and murdering trans women of color were not convicted for those crimes.

“This is a very dangerous move on the part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said Ruby Corado, founder and former executive director of Casa Ruby, the D.C. LGBTQ community services center, in referring to the plea deal.

“We need to be strengthening laws to ensure that the horrible epidemic of violence against LGBTQ people that we currently face ends, and not giving criminals a slap on the hand for committing murders against us,” Corado told the Washington Blade. “This sends a message that our lives don’t matter that much to those who already see us as easy targets; we are now becoming disposable people in the eyes of the law.”

D.C. trans rights advocate Alexis Blackmon, Casa Ruby’s interim executive director, called the plea bargain deal offered to Little and Johnson “very disturbing.” Added Blackmon, “How it’s being read across to me is if we can’t convict you on murder then we’re going to basically slap your wrist.”

Blackmon said she will consult with other local LGBTQ activists to determine whether a representative of the LGBTQ community should request to testify at Little and Johnson’s Dec. 10 sentencing hearing to ask the judge to hand down a sentence greater than eight years.

D.C. Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and trans advocate Monika Nemeth said she too is troubled over the plea bargain agreement.

“While I am stunned by a plea that reduces the charge from first-degree murder to voluntary manslaughter, I should not be as we are still a society for whom trans people, particularly trans women of color, are not valued and are disposable,” Nemeth said. “I don’t see how you get to voluntary manslaughter when the victims were targeted for being trans. This is not justice.”

William Miller, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said he would make inquires with the office’s prosecutors to obtain a response to a question from the Blade asking for an explanation of why the decision was made to issue the plea bargain offer rather than bring defendants Little and Johnson to trial on the murder charge.

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