February 15, 2017 at 1:10 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Fourth suspect arrested in D.C. trans murder case
Cyheme Hall, gay news, Washington Blade

Cyheme Hall was arrested this week in connection with the murder of Deeniquia Dodds last year. (Photo courtesy MPD)

D.C. police on Tuesday announced the arrest of a fourth suspect in the July 4, 2016, fatal shooting of 22-year-old transgender woman Deeniquia “Dee Dee” Dodds on a street near her home in Northeast Washington.

Police said they charged Cyheme Hall, 21, of Southeast Washington with first-degree murder while armed in connection with the Dodds murder. A D.C. Superior Court complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office lists the charge against Hall as first-degree felony murder while armed.

Hall’s arrest comes one week after police announced they had identified him as a suspect in the case and called on the public to help police find him, saying he should be considered armed and dangerous.

A police statement on Feb. 14 announcing Hall’s arrest didn’t disclose any details about how police located him.

Two of the suspects in the case – Jalonte Little, 26, of Southeast D.C., and Shareem Hall, 22, of District Heights, Md., were arrested in September also on a charge of first-degree felony murder while armed.

A third suspect, Montee Tyree Johnson, 21, of Southeast D.C., was arrested Feb. 8, according to D.C. police, and also charged with first-degree felony murder while armed in connection with the Dodds murder.

At the time of Shareem Hall’s arrest in September police filed a 13-page affidavit in court disclosing 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 locations in the early morning hours of July 4.

Neither police nor prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s office have said whether the two Halls charged in the case are related and which of the four suspects shot Dodds in the neck, which led to her death nine days later.

The complaint filed in court Tuesday by prosecutors at the time of Cyheme Hall’s arrest suggests, but doesn’t definitively confirm, that investigators believe he may be the one who allegedly shot Dodds.

“Cyheme Hall, within the District of Columbia, while armed with a firearm, in perpetrating and attempting to perpetrate the crime of robbery, killed…Dodds…by shooting her with firearm on or about July 4, 2016,” the complaint says.

D.C. attorney Cheryl Stein, who specializes in criminal law, said that under the law in most states and in D.C., one or more people found to have “aided and abetted” another person who shoots someone to death in an action listed as a murder can also be charged with that murder, even if they were not the ones who pulled the trigger.

“An aider and abettor is just as guilty as the principal under the law,” she said.

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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