Teen charged with fatal stabbing at Hyattsville shopping center

July 27, 2011

Police have charged a 17-year-old with first-degree murder in connection with last month’s fatal stabbing at a Hyattsville shopping center, authorities said Wednesday.

Derrell Emmanuel Mason was arrested Monday at his home in Northwest D.C. and charged with first-degree murder in the June 30 slaying of 21-year-old Leonard R. Smith-Matthews, authorities said. The two were among several combatants in a large fight at the University Town Center on American Boulevard, police said.

Smith-Matthews was fatally stabbed during the fight. Four others were injured, but all were treated at the hospital and released, authorities said. It remains unclear what precisely sparked the altercation.

Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.
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