Only three of the 45 DC homicides that occurred in the first six months of 2012 have been classified as domestic violence related homicides. That number represents less than six percent of all homicides to date.
This percentage shows a drop in domestic violence related homicides from last year when 12 percent of homicides were classified as domestic violence related; seven of last year’s domestic violence homicides occurred in the first half of the year.
Domestic violence encompasses a wide variety of relationships beyond intimate partners including siblings, children, and other family relationships. Six of last year’s 13 domestic violence homicides were intimate partner violence. This year, only one case, the fatal shooting of Yolanda Stone, was intimate partner domestic violence. Stone’s boyfriend, Reynard Cook, is charged with her murder.
Other domestic violence homicides this year include the death of Keyontae Moore, a 20-month-old toddler who was found dead as a result of blunt force trauma. Jonathan Fullard, the boyfriend of Moore’s mother, was indicted for murder and other charges this week. None of the domestic violence homicides last year involved children.
Lamont Devore was fatally stabbed and died after calling the police himself to ask for help. David Bolden is suspected of first-degree murder in the case. According to charging documents in the case, detectives believe that Bolden believed that Devore had “said some things” to Bolden’s baby’s mother, causing Bolden “problems.”
Amy Loudermilk, the senior policy specialist for the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence called the reductions in domestic violence homicides this year a “huge improvement.”
While she can’t be sure what caused the drop, Loudermilk says it may have been partially due to a “lethality assessment project” for domestic violence which was launched in 2010.
The program identifies victims of domestic violence who meet criteria that indicate that they are at risk of being killed so that they can receive help and services before they become victims of homicide.
DC has plans to double the capacity of the program, Loudermilk said.
She said she was “hopeful” that expanding the program could reduce domestic violence homicides even further.
MPD did not respond to a request to comment for this story.
An earlier version of this story incorrectly spelled Amy Loudermilk’s surname on the first reference. The error has been corrected.