By Ryan McFadden
More than two months have passed since the stabbing of ESU student Shaquwan Davis-Boone on the University’s main quad.
Since then, Dyshawn Mack, 23, Tyrone Wilkins, 28, Jamari Dortch, 21, Quincy Roden, 18, Shavelle Mills Jr., 20, and Francesco Reid Jr., 20, have been arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault and one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault.
Gabrielle Giello, a Pennsylvania state trooper and lead investigator for the case, responded to a 911 call on Jan. 31, the night of the stabbing, according her testimony at the defendants’ preliminary hearing at Monroe County Courthouse on Apr. 9.
Trooper Giello said she spoke with Davis-Boone in the hospital after the incident occurred.
That night, Davis-Boone said he was at the Mattioli Recreational Center. Afterwards, he walked toward the university center to get some food when the victim was approached by what he described as a group of approximately 10 men and two women outside of Shawnee Hall, she said.
According to her testimony, Davis-Boone told her that their clothing was almost all black with some red.
The group had surrounded him and began badgering him with questions. Feeling threatened, he became defensive, she said, puffed out his chest and said, “what’s up?” to the group.
The alleged assailants asked him if he was from Philly and if he knew a certain person. Davis-Boone can only recall that the name of the person in question began with the letter “R,” according to the trooper’s testimony.
The next thing Davis-Boone said he remembered was being punched in the face by the shortest member of the assailant group.
He broke free and ran toward the university center. A bottle of Hennesy was thrown at him as he ran, said Trooper Giello.
The group caught up with Davis-Boone in front of Laurel Hall. There he was engaged in a second conflict with an unknown number of assailants that he could not identify by face, only by their black clothing, according to Trooper Giello.
Then he felt a pressure in his lower back and side. He eventually escaped the assailants and ran toward the university center. Davis-Boone’s cell phone and headphones were later found lying in the dirt near the hall.
Police photographs showed two puncture wounds on the victim’s back and side that match up with two holes cut into the jacket he was wearing that night.
Surveillance footage shown in court and provided by campus police showed the six defendants walking on campus.
The two women in the group were identified as Jasmyn Moody and Georgia Miller. Both are former ESU students. They testified in court last Monday.
Moody, who was the first called to the stand, was the only ESU student involved with the group that night. (She would later withdraw from ESU, on Feb. 4, a few days after the stabbing.) In her own testimony, she said that some of the defendants were at ESU to visit her on the night of Jan. 31.
Video footage taken from her dorm hallway shows her, Miller, Roden, Mills and Mack walking toward her dorm room.
Moody identified herself and the others in the video footage by name.
A second clip showed the three men leaving the dorm, but this time without their jackets.
Photographs of the jackets in Moody’s room along with a knife found in one of the jacket pockets were showed in court.
Five of the six defendants were identified by Moody in video footage taken from the entrance of Sycamore Suites.
Four of the men were seen entering the building but an RA on duty turned them back, preventing their access. Dortch offered him a handshake.
One of the defendants, later identified as Dortch by Moody, wore a red cloth over his face in the video.
The lawyer representing the commonwealth called it a “bandanna.” The defendant himself spoke out in the courtroom saying, “It’s not a bandana, it’s a doo-rag.”
His attorney and a police officer on duty urged him not to speak again.
Miller said she and Moody have been friends all their lives. She said in court last Monday the group tried to enter Sycamore with the intention of finding a certain group of people, whom she calls the “Philly boys.”
One of the supposed “Philly boys,” an ESU student, called the police, fearing for his life, according to Trooper Giello. He claims that he and his two friends were attacked and shot at by Wilkins with a revolver on two separate occasions.
The first incidence of alleged gunfire came after a fight during an off-campus party on Halloween, according to Trooper Giello.
The second took place near the Exxon on Prospect Street Jan 28, three days before the alleged stabbing.
This student lives in Sycamore. He and his two friends are three of the supposed “Philly boys,” the group of defendants asked Davis-Boone if he knew. One of their names does begin with an “R,” according to Trooper Giello.
This student and his two friends allegedly had a serious altercation with Moody at Mattioli Recreational Center earlier in the day of Jan. 31.
Trooper Giello further testified that Moody approached him and his two friends with the message, “Things are about to get ‘litty’ on campus.”
The student said he pushed Moody after that and she threw her water bottle at him in response. According to Trooper Giello, ‘litty’ meant somebody was going to die that night on campus.
Moody had a different recollection of the altercation at the Mattioli Rec. Center. She claimed that she told the three students, “My brother said it’s lit for you guys.” She testified all that means is that a situation was about to happen. Moody then stated that one of the men punched her in the face, so she threw her water bottle at him, according to Moody’s testimony.
Apparently, some of the defendants were jumped by the “Philly boys” in the university center earlier in the day, and this message was a way to let them know “something” was bound to happen for it.
Some of the defendants were in the university center filling out job applications using Moody’s laptop. That’s when the “Philly boys” started the fight, according to Moody. The Mattioli altercation occurred at 4:30 p.m., according to the testimony of Trooper Giello and Moody.
That altercation connects Moody witness to both the group of defendants as their messenger and to the three “Philly boys” the group allegedly had a fight with earlier in the day, according to Moody’s testimony.
Moody’s account of the stabbing does not include an acknowledgment of the stabbing. It does however include a description of the fight that may have caused it, according to her testimony.
Moody said that the group of defendants asked Davis-Boone if he knew the “Philly boys,” and then started fighting him.
She claimed to have started walking back to her room in Linden Hall as soon as the defendants started the fight with Davis-Boone. She said some of the defendants followed her and eventually, she “heard the kid scream at one point.”
Moody claimed she did not see any stabbing or knife because her back was turned as soon as the fighting started, according to her testimony.
She also testified that she scolded the three defendants that walked back to her dorm room with her for fighting someone that “had nothing to do with it.”
When asked what relation she had to the defendants Moody said, “I looked at them as brothers,” her eyes watering as she spoke.
Magistrate Muth found that both testimonies put the defendants at the scene of the crime and said that was sufficient evidence to hold the men until their arraignment.
The public defenders pointed out that the investigation lacks an identification of who stabbed Davis-Boone. Neither testimony nor video evidence can identify the one that used the blade. For that reason, some of the public defenders motioned to dismiss the charges.
Muth ultimately bound the defendants to further investigation due to the amount of circumstantial evidence the commonwealth provided, transferring the case to the court of common pleas.
Muth also lowered the bail from $250,000 for all six to $150,000 for two defendants and $125,000 for the other four.
Now, the defendants are waiting their formal arraignment which will be held on May 30.
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