One of the women charged with killing former D.C. school board member Terry Hairston has told police that she participated in a botched robbery that led to his slaying, prosecutors said in court papers yesterday.
Arkeeta Hendrick told detectives that she tried to eliminate any incriminating evidence of the shooting, which she said was carried out by her friend, and now co-defendant, Dannielle Wayne, according to charging documents filed in D.C. Superior Court.
Looking bewildered and upset, the two women, both 21, were in court yesterday for the first time in the case as members of their families and of Hairston's looked on. A judge ordered that they remain jailed without bond on first-degree murder charges.
The hearing shed only a little more light on why Hairston, 38, was slain May 15 in his home on Burns Street SE.
Although police have said robbery appears to be the motive, accounts provided in the charging papers suggest that the case might have been more complicated than the typical holdup.
Hendrick told police that she and Wayne went to Hairston's house to socialize, according to charging papers filed against her. She said they smoked marijuana and drank with Hairston and learned that he had a lot of money, according to the documents. After leaving his house, she said, they decided to return to rob him, according to the charging papers.
The documents say Hendrick acknowledged holding Hairston at gunpoint while Wayne searched for valuables. A struggle ensued, and Wayne stepped in, got the gun and shot Hairston, the charging papers say. But in separate papers charging Wayne, other witnesses describe events differently.
One witness told investigators that Wayne said she had gone to Hairston's house to "trick" with him and that he had offered her $30. What was meant by trick is unclear from the charging papers. But Wayne apparently was offended, the witness told police, and shot Hairston after Hendrick helped distract him.
A second witness told police that Wayne said Hendrick shot Hairston after he had said something that angered her.
The charging papers quote Hendrick as saying that she and Wayne left Hairston's house in his rental car but decided to return to remove evidence. Both women have criminal records, authorities say, and fingerprints could have linked them to the crime scene.
Hendrick went so far as to try to remove traces of her skin from under the fingernails of Hairston, who had scratched her, the documents say. She and Wayne also used a rag with bleach to wipe the house, the papers say.
Hairston represented Ward 7 on the school board from 1995 through 1998 and was planning to challenge D.C. Council member Kevin P. Chavous in the Ward 7 Democratic primary.
Haretta Pearson, Hairston's sister, said she is sure that her brother was robbed and that sex or drugs did not play a role in the slaying. But she said she is not sure that she knows everything about the killing. "It just seems incomplete, " she said. "It just seems like there's something else there and we can't quite place our finger on it," she said.