Then the simplest of roommate spats turned deadly.
Simpson and Dominique Frazier, 18, started to yell, and the fight turned physical. Someone in the suite split them up, pushing Simpson into her bedroom. But Simpson came back with what looked like a knife and stabbed Frazier in the neck, the court papers say.
“I didn’t mean to do it. You all don’t know what I’ve been through. You all jumped me,” Simpson said before she ran out of the dorm.
Frazier clutched at her throat, staggered into the hallway and collapsed.
The two women had known each other just weeks. Simpson, school officials said, had been randomly placed in the four-bedroom suite after she transferred to the school from Clark Atlanta University. But witnesses told police that the two didn’t get along and had been arguing for at least the past week.
Denise Frazier, Dominique Frazier’s mother, said her daughter complained of tensions with Simpson. But when she offered to call school officials to request a transfer, Dominique told her not to.
“No, Mom,” Dominique said, “we’re just having words now.”
Simpson, who turned herself in to Prince George’s County police late Thursday night, was charged with first-degree murder, among other counts. She is being held at the county jail.
The mood on campus Friday was somber, with hundreds of students and faculty members packing into the gymnasium for a community meeting. Bowie State, Maryland’s oldest historically black college, canceled classes for the day and suspended homecoming festivities until the evening, when organizers of a fashion show planned to add a presentation of all-black outfits in honor of Frazier, who was remembered as a fun-loving woman who loved fashion and embraced her Twitter alias, “MsBonnieBlakk.”
“Dominique Frazier, a precious life, a valued member of our university community, has been taken from us,” President Mickey L. Burnim said at the meeting. “Our community and our family has permanently changed.”
Frazier, who was studying business administration, would have celebrated her 19th birthday Sunday, her mother said. They planned to go to Red Lobster, as they did every year.
Now, her mother said, there will be a vigil in their Northeast Washington neighborhood instead. Denise Frazier said she and her daughter were close, talking and texting often. They last spoke by phone Thursday morning, ending their conversation with “I love you.”
Dominique Frazier had a contagious, silly laugh, her mother said. She loved to cook and dreamed of opening a restaurant called “Cooking from the Soul.” Her father, who taught her to cook, died of cancer last year.