Second DC Superior Court Murder Trial of 2021 to Begin

The second murder trial at the DC Superior Court since the suspension of trials due to the COVID-19 pandemic ended is set to begin next week.

Robert Dean, 63, is charged with first-degree murder while armed for allegedly stabbing 38-year-old Tamiya White with a screwdriver on the 1000 block of Mount Olivet Road, NE, on March 31, 2018. 

According to court documents, Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers responded to White’s home twice on March 18, 2018. Both times, White complained that she was trying to end a six-month relationship with Dean.

According to court documents, a witness said that, approximately one hour before the homicide, they received a text from Dean that read, “I feel that I am about to go to jail.” The witness said they later called Dean, who said he was angry with White for using his entire social security check-in two days and kicking him out of her apartment. 

At approximately 4:58 p.m. on March 31, 2018, White drove from her apartment on the 1000 block of Mount Olivet Road, NE, to a McDonalds approximately one minute away. She walked into the building and requested assistance while holding onto her neck, which was “uncontrollably bleeding,” according to court documents. 

Six minutes later, officers arrived. Less than half an hour later, she succumbed to her injuries. 

Unaware of White’s injuries, the witness picked up Dean near White’s apartment. While in the vehicle, Dean told the witness that White hit him during an argument. He allegedly said he responded by, “stabbing the decedent up to thirty times with a screwdriver.” 

According to court documents, the doctor who performed the autopsy determined that White had two puncture wounds: one penetrating the left side of her neck and another penetrating the left side of her chest.

Dean was arrested on April 5, 2018, and charged with first-degree murder while armed, premediated. He was offered a plea deal later that year but it was rejected.

He previously had a trial scheduled for early 2020, but it was postponed. 

Jury selection for Dean’s trial is now set to begin on Oct. 18. The prosecution expects to have five expert witnesses and four to six law enforcement witnesses. 

Parties expect the trial to last two weeks.