LBPD and Long Beach City officials address journalists and television stations. Photo by Isaac Romero.
The Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) held a press conference to discuss the arrest of four individuals in two separate murder cases, one from July of this year and the other from 2009.
On July 25, 23-year-old Jazzmine Wash was shot near 6:20AM on Walnut Avenue between 5th and 6th Streets.
Though preliminary investigations had shown no clear motivation for the shooting, LBPD discovered through their Los Angeles partners that Jazzmine has previously been approached by a man in a car, pointed a gun at her, and fled while she waited for a bus to return to Long Beach. LAPD held Jazzmine and her three-year-old son at the station until she could find a ride.
In a disturbing revenge plot concocted by 30-year-old Los Angeles resident Jason Haggerty—a supposed friend of Jazzmine's, who police say blamed her for a parole violation that could have potentially sent him to prison—an unnamed 16-year-old female was sent out to pick up Jazzmine and her child with plans to return to Jazzmine's grandparents' home in Long Beach. Haggerty waited near the home and, once Jazzmine was dropped off, allegedly shot her.
"Haggerty has an extensive criminal history," said LBPD Chief Jim McDonnell. "which includes assaults, property crimes, narcotic violations, and fraud."
Haggerty and the 16-year-old, who is being charged as an adult, face murder, murder while lying in wait, and the use of a firearm during murder; Haggerty also faces an additional charge of premeditated attempted murder.
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Lieutenant Lloyd Cox emphasized that the biggest breakthrough were community members speaking up.
"It was simply doing interviews, putting all the pieces together, and talking to people that really made this case break through," Cox said.
On January 31, 2009, 76-year-old Leam Sovanasy—a Cambodian grandmother immigrant—was fatally stabbed to death while she was sleeping. The initial investigation into the crime led to signs of a classic burglary: a broken window as point of entry, a purse of cash missing, and fingerprints/DNA samples throughout the scene.
However, it wasn't until July of this year that LBPD investigators were to take a giant leap forward in the case by providing a composite sketch of one of the suspects along with information regarding the car he allegedly drove.
In what McDonnell called "not uncommon" in criminal cases, 24-year-old Victorville resident Dontae Davis (aka Daniia Lasean Davis) contacted the LBPD in August of this year, claiming he was the person depicted in the drawing and that he would appear at the department with his lawyer. He failed to show up.
Looking into the records of Davis, LBPD investigators discovered that Davis was not only active in the pawn industry, but often paired himself with 25-year-old Feddie Battle of Long Beach in his pawn doings. Further records indicated that, following the murder of Leam, Davis and Battle had an unusual 8-month lull in their pawning activities. With this information and less than one month after the release of Davis's sketch, another sketch was released, this time detailing second suspect Battle.
On September 5, Battle was arrested while on the 2200 block of Pine Avenue. The following day, Davis was arrested in Victorville. Concurrent DNA samples gathered from Davis and Battle were confirmed by the LA County Sheriff Department's Crime Lab to match those collected at the crime scene.
They are both being charged with murder, use of a dangerous weapon during a murder, first-degree burglary, and murder during the commission of a burglary.