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Mayor Bowser and MPD Chief Newsham Announce Closure of Multiple Homicide Cases

Thursday, December 28, 2017
Cross-Agency Collaboration Between the Metropolitan Police Department and the Department of Forensic Sciences Gets Repeat Offender Off the Streets

(Washington, DC) – Mayor Muriel Bowser and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Peter Newsham today announced the arrest of James Mayfield in connection to three separate homicide cases. Mayfield has been charged for his role in the murders of 17 year-old Jamahri Sydnor on August 10, 2017, 38 year-old Jermaine Bowens on December 26, 2017, and 21 year-old Elijah Henry on December 27, 2017. 
“My heart continues to go out to the families who have lost loved ones to senseless violence. We will not be satisfied with any level of violence in our community, and we will work hand-in-hand with Washingtonians to continue building a safer, stronger DC,” said Mayor Bowser. “When we have individuals who terrorize our community, we will do everything in our power to bring those people to justice.” 
Over the past year, the District’s Department of Forensic Sciences (DFS) made improvements to increase the capacity and efficiency of its firearm and fingerprint forensic units which allowed the agency to rapidly process the tests at MPD’s request. As part of the investigation, firearm forensic examiners at DFS expedited the evaluation of a gun found on Mayfield at the time of his arrest for the August 10th murder of Jamahri Sydnor. The evidence collected from the gun connected Mayfield to the other murders as well as potential armed robberies.
Mayfield’s arrest comes at the end of a year in which the District has experienced a 15 percent reduction in homicides and a 23 percent reduction in all violent crimes. Since 2014, the District has experienced a 28 percent reduction in violent crime and a 14 percent reduction in all crime. MPD continues to credit these reductions to the department’s community policing efforts as well as close collaboration with agency partners like DFS and those agencies that provide services to DC’s most vulnerable populations.
“We have made tremendous strides in the reduction of violent crime in the District in 2017 and it is due to the efforts of multiple agencies, dedicated employees and community members working together,” said Chief Newsham. “Our ability to safely and respectfully remove illegal firearms from the streets and hold violent offenders accountable are critical in making even further progress.”
“The community continues to suffer from this senseless act of gun violence,” said Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie. “I thank MPD for their tireless work in bringing this individual to justice.”
Residents who have information about a crime are encouraged to contact the Anonymous MPD Tip Line at (202) 727-9099. In addition, the Bowser Administration continues to encourage residents to participate in the Private Security Camera System Incentive Program which provides vouchers and reimbursements for the cost of purchasing and installing a private security camera.