September 20, 2016 at 11:56 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Second suspect charged in D.C. trans murder
Deeniquia Dodds, gay news, Washington Blade

Deeniquia Dodds was shot to death on July 4. (Photo courtesy Facebook)

D.C. police on Monday said they arrested a second suspect in the July 4 shooting death of transgender woman Deeniquia “Dee Dee” Dodds.

The arrest of Jalonte Little, 26, of Southeast D.C. on a charge of first-degree felony murder while armed in connection with Dodds’ killing came four days after police arrested District Heights, Md., resident Shareem Hall, 22, on the same charge in the Dodds murder case.

Little’s arrest came three days after police filed a 13-page affidavit in D.C. Superior Court in support of Hall’s arrest that discloses that Hall, Little and at least two other suspects were implicated in a series of armed street robberies against eight transgender women, including Dodds, in two different locations in the early morning hours of July 4.

The other two suspects have not been identified.

Three of the trans women were robbed at 4th and K St., N.E. about 3:40 a.m. by three male suspects carrying pistols and another four were robbed in the same location a short time later by four male suspects also brandishing pistols, the affidavit cites witnesses as saying.

Several of the victims and witnesses told police they saw some of the suspects leave and enter a white Pontiac vehicle that belonged to Little.

In the incident involving Dodds, the police affidavit says a witness told police homicide detectives the witness saw Dodds struggling to break away from two men on the 200 block of Division Avenue, N.E. shortly before 3 a.m. on July 4.

Seconds later, the affidavit says, the witness heard a single gunshot and saw a female later identified as Dodds fall to the ground as the two men ran from the scene heading north on Division Avenue. The affidavit says a second witness also reported hearing a single gunshot and seeing Dodds fall to the ground as two male suspects ran from the scene.

Dodds, who was found unconscious and suffering from a gunshot wound to the neck, died July 13 in Prince George’s County Hospital Center after having been on life support since the day of the shooting.

The arrest affidavit says homicide detectives obtained their first break in the case that enabled them to link Little and Hall to the Dodds murder about 6 a.m. on July 4, about three hours after Dodds was shot.

According to the affidavit, at that time officers with the department’s Sixth District responded to “second sighting” call to a 7-Eleven store at 950 Eastern Ave., N.E. from a transgender woman who had been robbed at gunpoint on June 28 outside the same 7-Eleven.

The affidavit says when the officers arrived the woman pointed to a white Pontiac vehicle she said her assailant had emerged from at the time he robbed her on June 28. A short time later, the affidavit says, detectives who were in the area investigating the shooting of Dodds observed the trans woman shouting and pointing to a suspect who had just entered the vehicle in question and drove away.

“Officers followed the vehicle and stopped it,” the affidavit says. “Defendant Little was the sole occupant,” says the affidavit, which adds that he was placed under arrest for the June 28 armed robbery. After he was transported to the Sixth District for processing police discovered he had left in the transport vehicle a loaded .40 caliber Glock 23 pistol, the affidavit says.

But the most important discovery came while police processed Little’s arrest. They discovered he had attached to his ankle a GPS monitoring device that he was required to wear as a condition for his release in an unrelated arrest.

“Every minute the GPS device provides a data point for identifying the location of the device,” the affidavit says. “Your affiant has reviewed the records associated with the GPS worn by defendant Little,” it says.

“According to these GPS records, defendant Little was in the area of the June 28, 2016 armed robbery at the time it occurred, was in the area of the July 4, 2016 shooting of the decedent [Dodds] at the time it occurred, and was in the area of the July 4, 2016 armed robbery of the complainants at 4th and K Streets at the time it occurred,” the affidavit states.

“The location records for defendant Little’s GPS device further place defendant Little immediately leaving the area of the shooting and traveling eastbound on Benning Road and into the area surrounding 4th and K Streets, N.E.,” says the affidavit.

The affidavit says detectives linked Hall to Little after recovering Little’s cell phone at the time of his arrest on July 4. It says detectives obtained a search warrant to trace all outgoing and incoming calls to that phone, which enabled them to discover that Little had received numerous calls from a cell phone that detectives determined Hall had been using.

With the assistance of the FBI’s Cellular Analysis Survey Team, detectives obtained location data from Hall’s phone that was consistent with the GPS location data for Little, the affidavit says.

“That is, the location data is consistent with both defendants being together and traveling together before, during, and after the murder on July 4, 2016,” the affidavit states.

Court records show that Little has been held in jail without bond since the time of his arrest on July 4 for the June 28 armed robbery of the trans woman.

Hall, meanwhile, was on probation related to an eight-year suspended jail sentence for a conviction of conspiracy to commit a crime of violence while armed linked to a 2013 home invasion. Hall was one of four suspects arrested in that case.

A Superior Court judge handed down the suspended sentence in July 2015, about one year before police charged Hall with Dodds’ murder.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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