Two Men Charged With First-Degree Murder in Killing of University of Maryland Student
Thursday, March 31, 2011
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Prince George’s County Police have made two arrests in the January murder of a 22-year-old University of Maryland student.
Deandre Ricardo Williams, 23, of Washington, D.C., and Stephan Weaver, 22, of Bowie, Md., were charged with first-degree murder, a police spokesman said. Both suspects confessed their involvement in the murder of Justin Vance DeSha-Overcash, of College Park, said police Cpl. Erica Johnson.
Williams, who was arrested by police Wednesday, shot DeSha-Overcash twice in his home, in the 8800 block of 38th Avenue, police allege. Police say Weaver was an accomplice.
“It’s pretty bittersweet,” said Randy Overcash, the victim’s father. “I had almost given up hope that they were going to be able to find this individual.
“Seventy-some days have gone by and … with no word, no prospects, no anything, you just kind of realize as time goes on the opportunities and prospects are dimmer and dimmer.
“But when (police) called me at nine (o’clock) last night, it was the first feeling of positiveness since the eleventh, when Justin got killed.”
DeSha-Overcash was a senior studying astronomy and physics at the University of Maryland after graduating in 2006 from Central Bucks High School South in Warrington, Pa., his father said.
According to charging documents, Weaver drove Williams to DeSha-Overcash’s home on Jan. 11, looking to rob him of money and drugs. Police said they were led to the men through an informant’s call on March 25; the informant claimed Weaver had told him about the crime on Jan. 11. The informant’s story matched the crime scene, charging documents said.
Williams was arrested in the District and is awaiting extradition to Prince George’s County, where he will be held, police said. Weaver was arrested March 26 and is being held at the Department of Corrections in Upper Marlboro, Md.
Weaver also faces robbery and first-degree assault charges, according to court documents.
On Jan. 11, police said they found marijuana, a digital scale and drug packaging material at the crime scene. But DeSha-Overcash’s family has been vocal that their son was not involved in the sale of drugs.
On a Facebook group page for DeSha-Overcash, Karen DeSha, his mother, announced in several wall posts that Prince George’s police no longer believed her son was involved in dealing drugs. Randy Overcash said the same, claiming police “point blank said that, after the investigation, that Justin was not a drug dealer. They have come forward and said that to me.”
Prince George’s Police would not confirm Overcash’s assertion.
Overcash, who lives outside of Philadelphia, said he would come to Prince George’s County for the trial in an attempt to reach closure.
“This person took the most important thing a parent can have,” Overcash said. “First of all, I would like to know why. I would like to hear this person say in a court that this is the reason he pulled those triggers.”
A Facebook profile appearing to be Weaver’s – the home address on it matches the one given by police - said he went to high school at DeMatha in Hyattsville and was a business economics major at West Virginia University. On Jan. 11 at 6:09 p.m., Weaver posted on his wall “PG county is way to (sic) crazy for me.” DeSha-Overcash was found shot at 11:27 a.m. that day, police said.
Williams was arrested five times since 2008 on drug and assault charges, D.C. court records show. Most recently, he was acquitted of assault charges in April 2010. Weaver received probation before judgment after facing theft charges in May 2009.
Attempts to contact friends, family and employers of Williams and Weaver were unsuccessful.
Maryland Newsline reporter Maite Fernandez contributed to this story.