Jury Finds Man Criminally Responsible for Vicious First-Degree Murder of Father-in-Law

State v. Deangelo Hemsley, K16-497

LA PLATA, Md. (June 17, 2019)—Tony Covington, State's Attorney for Charles County, announced that on Friday, June 14, 2019, after a two-part, bifurcated trial, a Charles County jury found Deangelo Hemsley, 42 of Waldorf, criminally responsible for the First-Degree Murder of John Yates, Home Invasion, First-Degree Assault, Second-Degree Assault, Kidnapping, and False Imprisonment.

Hemsley was previously convicted of the aforementioned charges on June 12, 2019 by members of the jury. After establishing his guilt, jurors then found that Hemsley was criminally responsible for committing the acts in a separate proceeding, despite his plea of not criminally responsible.

On April 23, 2016, officers responded to the 12800 block of Yates Place in La Plata for the report of a person with a weapon. When officers arrived, they located victim John Yates suffering from several stab wounds to his upper body. He was pronounced deceased at the scene. Officers also found Hemsley, Yates' son-in-law, attempting to escape the area; however, he was apprehended that night.

An investigation revealed that during the evening hours of April 23rd, Hemsley made entry into Yates' residence yielding a knife and bar. Yates' family was present at the time and did not expect Hemsley's arrival. After entrance, Hemsley demanded to know where his daughter, who was inside of the residence, was located. Hemsley then asked for the location of Yates, who was in a lower level. Within seconds of receiving Yates' location from a family member, Hemsley went to Yates and immediately began attacking him with the knife, stabbing him multiple times and causing deep lacerations in the face and neck area. Hemsley's then 12 year-old-daughter and a 15-year-old juvenile were present during parts of the attack.

After stabbing Yates, Hemsley grabbed his daughter's hand and put her in his vehicle. Thankfully, she was able to escape through a window and run to safety back inside of the residence, barricading herself in a room with a dresser.

A DNA analysis conducted on the knife used in the assault revealed that it contained both Hemsley's and Yates' DNA. Hemsley also had Yates' blood still on his clothing while being apprehended.

A sentencing date has been set for September 5, 2019.

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