Woman Gets 24 Years in Murder of Lawyer at Donovan Hotel; 2nd Woman to Serve 6 Months in Connection With Case - NBC4 Washington

Woman Gets 24 Years in Murder of Lawyer at Donovan Hotel; 2nd Woman to Serve 6 Months in Connection With Case

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Two Women Sentenced in Hotel Murder of D.C. Lawyer

    News4's Derrick Ward reports on the sentencing of two women involved in the death of a prominent D.C. attorney who was stabbed to death in a Dupont Circle hotel in February. (Published Friday, Aug. 21, 2015)

    Two women were sentenced Friday for their roles in the death of a D.C. lawyer inside a upscale hotel earlier this year.

    Jamyra Gallmon was sentenced to 24 years for second-degree murder, followed by five years supervised release with mental health and trauma counselling. Gallmon had told police she had a "flashback" to a previous assault in the moments before she killed 30-year-old David Messerschmit at the upscale Donovan Hotel.

    Dominique Johnson received 12 months in prison, with all but six suspended, for conspiracy to commit robbery. She will then serve three years probation.

    Both women entered guilty pleas back in May.

    Messerschmit, a lawyer, was found stabbed to death at the Donovan Hotel in February.

    The two women were arrested separately weeks after the crime.

    Authorities said Gallmon was captured on hotel surveillance video released shortly after the stabbing, showing someone walking into the hotel around 7:40 p.m. that night. She pressed an elevator button, but then took the stairs, slowly covering up her face as time went on.

    Authorities said they identified Gallmon through online and cellphone records.

    Gallmon told authorities she went to the hotel intending to rob Messerschmit after he posted on Craigslist on Feb. 9, seeking responses from other men. Authorities say Gallmon responded to the ad using a man's name. A charging document said Messerschmitt gave his room number at the Donovan Hotel in Thomas Circle, asking to meet between 7 and 7:30 p.m. that evening.

    Authorities say Gallmon, of Southeast D.C., admitted to stabbing Messerschmit during an altercation in his hotel room.

    Gallmon allegedly told police that Messerschmitt grabbed her arm, causing her to have a "flashback" to a past assault, at which point she and the victim got into a physical altercation, and she stabbed him several times. 

    Messerschmit's wife reported him missing early Feb. 10. Hours later, his body was found in the hotel room.

    Detectives found an HP computer, condoms, lubricant and an enema in the room, among other items.

    Sources told News4 that Johnson had prior knowledge about the robbery plot, was with Gallmon before and after the homicide, and benefited from the items stolen from Messerschmitt.

    Messerschmit's wife was in court for the sentencing Friday. 

    Gallmon had faced 18 to 25 years in prison. Johnson was subject to five years and a substantial fine.