A Denver man found dead in Petworth Tuesday evening may have been killed by a strike from a claw-tooth hammer, the same type of weapon that police believe was used in at least two other attacks in the same neighborhood this week and the same type of weapon found in the backpack of DC teen Michael Davis at the time of his arrest.
That’s according to court documents presented to Davis today at DC Superior Court. Davis, 19, is suspected of two counts of assault with intent to kill.
While he has not been charged with murder, documents in those two cases provide a glimpse into the evidence collected so far in connection to Gary Dederichs’ death.
According to those documents, Dederichs was found in an alley alongside 813 Emerson Street in Northwest DC just after 6 p.m. Tuesday evening. He was unconscious and unresponsive; a “large quantity” of blood was pooled near his head. Dederichs did not appear to have been robbed; a wallet with money was found on him. An autopsy found that Dederichs died of blunt force trauma to the head. A medical examiner said the injury could have come from a “claw style weapon, possibly a hammer.”
Four additional attacks, in which the victims have survived, were reported after Dederichs was killed.
Early Wednesday morning, at about 2:40 a.m., a 53-year-old male was found near 4812 Georgia Avenue Northwest with traumatic head injuries. He was taken to the hospital and underwent surgery for multiple facial fractures and a large fracture to the back of his head. Medical authorities said the injuries could have been caused by a hammer or baseball bat.
At 8:40 Wednesday night, a 19-year-old woman was attacked in the 5600 block of 9th Street Northwest. She appears to have also been struck on the back of the head, fracturing her skull and causing bleeding in her brain.
On Thursday at 3:30 pm, a man was attacked in the 200 block of Ingraham Street Northwest. The man was knocked from behind to the ground, and his injuries include cuts to his head and face. A rubberized hammer handle was found near the scene of the crime.
Later Thursday, just before 9 p.m., a woman was attacked in the 5000 block of 8th Street Northwest. The attack fractured her skull and fractured her skull. A man detained shortly after the attack had a claw-tooth hammer in his backpack. Hair was present on the clawed end, court documents state.
Davis has been presented with two counts of assault with intent to kill. Those charges are related to the Thursday attacks, on Ingraham and 8th streets. Information on the other cases was included in court documents filed Saturday just before Davis’ court appearance and MPD Chief Cathy Lanier has said the cases may all be linked. US Attorney’s Office spokesman William Miller said the USAO had no comment beyond the documents.
A preliminary hearing on the assault charges is scheduled for May 11.
Charging documents are below.