News » Crime

Howard Theatre Stabbing Suspects Arraigned

by John Riley
Thursday Oct 18, 2012

The three suspects accused of stabbing a gay teenager outside the Howard Theatre in June were arraigned this morning in D.C. Superior Court, with all three pleading not guilty to one count of assault with intent to kill while armed, with bias enhancements.

Ali Jackson; his sister, Alvonica Jackson; and her boyfriend, Desmond Raimon Campbell, all pleaded not guilty to stabbing a 16-year-old gay teenager while yelling homophobic slurs at him in the 600 block of T Street NW on June 26.

The three defendants had previously been charged with assault with intent to kill, but no bias charges were introduced until the three were indicted Oct. 3. According to charging documents, all three disparaged the victim as a ''faggy'' at the time of their arrest, just minutes after allegedly stabbing the teenager.

Lawyers for all three requested a jury trial, leading presiding judge Patricia Broderick to schedule a Nov. 16 status hearing for the three defendants. Last month, Broderick scheduled the three for a trial, set to begin on Jan. 9, 2013.

According to police testimony at the preliminary hearing in July, Ali Jackson had a verbal argument with the victim, whom he had known prior, on the evening of June 26 and threatened to stab him. Jackson allegedly called the victim a ''faggot'' and the victim responded by calling him a ''bitch.'' Later, Jackson allegedly returned to the scene, carrying a knife, and stabbed the victim while calling him homophobic slurs. Witnesses say that Campbell held the victim in a headlock while Alvonica Jackson attempted to hold his arms during the course of the attack.

At some point during the attack, the victim produced a can of pepper spray and sprayed the three, who fled the scene. Responding officers detained and later arrested them. Police say they found evidence of blood on Ali Jackson and Desmond Campbell's pants and pepper spray residue on Campbell's shirt.

The victim, who suffered stab wounds to his left bicep, lower back and left leg, was transported to Howard University Hospital, treated and released.

Police say the three suspects frequently called the victim homophobic slurs and made comments about his sexuality while they were in custody, evidence that was later used by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia in pressing for bias enhancements to the charges against the three.

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