What to Know
- Interrogation video shown in court Thursday showed Daron Boswell-Johnson confess to killing his 2-year-old daughter and her mother.
- "I am not the monster they are making me out to be," he wrote to the mother of his first two children. "I told the truth in everything."
- He drew a map to where he said he dumped the gun he used, but it was never found.
The man accused of one of the most shocking crimes in the D.C. area in recent memory confessed to killing his 2-year-old daughter and the child's mother in a police video shown Thursday in Prince George's County court.
Daron Boswell-Johnson said he waited outside the mother's home, confronted her over the $600 monthly child support he recently had been ordered to pay and shot her and the toddler. NeShante Davis, 26, and Chloe Davis-Green both died the same day, Feb. 2, 2016.
Detectives who interviewed the 25-year-old for hours on the day of the crime and into the following day testified Thursday afternoon that Boswell-Johnson led police on the route he took to the crime scene and drew a map to where he dumped the gun he said he used. Hours of video that prosecutors played in court showed the detectives questioning Boswell-Johnson in a small room.
Davis, a second-grade teacher, was shot near her car on the 1300 block of Palmer Road in Fort Washington. Her cousin heard gunshots and then saw Davis lying facedown about 7 a.m. The 2-year-old was found with two gunshot wounds to the head. Her mom had just strapped her into her car seat.
Initially, Boswell-Johnson told detectives he woke up about 7 a.m. at his family's apartment on Pennsylvania Avenue in District Heights and got to work at an auto glass shop in Gaithersburg about 8:15 a.m., video of the police interview shows.
But surveillance cameras at his apartment complex showed his gray Ford Escape leaving about 5:55 a.m. -- when he said he had been sleeping -- and returning about 7:30 a.m., police and prosecutors say. His SUV had a distinctive "donut" spare tire on the front driver's side wheel, prosecutors showed.
Then, Boswell-Johnson admitted that he went to Davis' home the morning of Feb. 2, the police video showed. He said he had never showed up there unannounced but that he had wanted to see his daughter before she went to day care that day.
Davis was surprised to see Boswell-Johnson outside her apartment as she carried her daughter, he said on video.
To complete silence in the courtroom, Boswell-Johnson then admitted in the taped interview with detectives that he went to Davis' apartment angry, with a gun in his waistband.
"I want you to take the child support off," he recalled saying, with the gun now in his hand.
Davis kept walking, and he said he then opened fire.
He said he didn't remember how many times he shot his daughter. At one point in the video, he appeared to say "yes" when a detective asked him if he shot the child accidentally. He was charged with two counts of murder and two counts of use of a firearm in a crime of violence.
The defendant's lawyer, Antoini Jones, did not cross-examine the detectives on Thursday. Earlier this week, he argued that prosecutors did not have evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that Boswell-Jones committed the brutal crime.
"Rush to judgment. That's what the evidence will show in this case," he said Monday.
Boswell-Jones and Davis got along, Jones said.
"You'll hear no evidence in this case of my client protesting about child support," Jones said.
The detectives also testified Thursday that Boswell-Johnson led police on the route he took to the crime scene on Feb. 2. Sgt. James Boulden, one of the detectives, said he asked the defendant during the visit "if that was the sidewalk he had walked up" just before the crime. Boswell-Johnson said it was, Boulden said.
Jones questioned Boulden's testimony about Boswell-Johnson's statements. With the jury out of the courtroom, Judge Michael R. Pearson said the defense had called for an end to the trial. Pearson said he would reserve judgment on the matter.
Then, prosecutors showed video of detectives questioning Boswell-Johnson about the location of the gun. They tried multiple tactics, including telling him that taking a gun off the streets could save the life of a child, and that if he stayed silent, police would needlessly have to search his workplace and the homes of his loved ones.
For hours, Boswell-Johnson refused to say where the gun was, the video showed. Then, he agreed to draw a map. He said he dumped a .357 handgun in a plastic Walmart bag near an apartment complex in Shady Grove, close to where he worked. The gun was loaded, and additional bullets were in the bag, he said.
As Boswell-Johnson described in the video where the gun could be found, he said something in a low voice: "I'm going to jail for life, man."
The gun was never found, a spokesman for the state's attorney's office said.
After Boswell-Johnson drew a detective a map of where he said they could find the gun, he asked him to relay messages to three people: his mother, the mother of his two other children and his girlfriend. Prosecutors showed the jury an enlarged copy of the note he scribbled in the police interview room.
"I know I failed you as a son, and I can just imagine how you're feeling," he wrote to his mother.
"I am not the monster they are making me out to be," he wrote to the mother of his first two children. "I told the truth in everything."
To his girlfriend, he apologized.
"Sorry you have to go through this," he wrote. "I know my life is over at this point." Then, he asked her to visit him in jail.
The trial was set to continue Friday. Boswell-Johnson faces decades in prison if convicted.