The man accused of killing the mother of his infant son in an apparent domestic violence dispute appeared at his arraignment Friday in Sacramento Superior Court.
Dajha Richards, 19, was shot Tuesday outside the south Sacramento home she shared with her mother and siblings, later dying from her wounds at a hospital. The shooting led Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department to launch an hours-long manhunt with SWAT teams and K9 police in search of Damion Marc Horton.
Horton, 20, faces charges of murder and possession of a firearm by a felon. As his charges were read aloud, Horton appeared to shake his head and placed his face in his hands.
Many of Richards’ friends who attended the Friday arraignment were visibly emotional after the hearing, and declined to comment on the case.
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At a vigil Wednesday night, family and friends of Richards remembered her as a “fighter” and “loving mother.”
A friend of Richards’ family, Tranisha Boyd, previously told The Sacramento Bee that Richards was attempting to end the relationship before the shooting took place. Sheriff’s deputies arrived within minutes of a 911 call and reported Richards had a “gunshot wound to the chest.”
The manhunt to find Horton concluded unsuccessfully, according to Sacramento Sheriff’s Department, but Horton later turned himself in Wednesday after officials released his name and photo identifying him as the suspect.
Horton’s mother, Yolanda Smith, is suspected of aiding Horton and was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of being an accessory after the fact, according to a sheriff’s department news release.
“My baby’s gone,” said Richards’ mother, Ebony Douglas, through tears at Wednesday’s vigil. “I feel so empty, I feel so lost. ... Nineteen years of life just taken from her.”
“You see it hear it all day on TV but you but you’re never thinking (it’ll happen) to me,” she said.
Richards left behind an infant son, Kash, whom she gave birth to in September and was devoted to, family and friends say. Richards posted dozens of photos of her son on her Facebook.
“You remind me of what it’s liked to love & feel whole again,” she posted along with a photo of her son in November.
Other social media posts from her page indicate she began a relationship with Horton in 2016.
“I know me & Damion go thru s--- but EVERYBODY & THEY MOMMAS know I love dat boy to death,” Richards wrote in a Facebook Jan. 2. “I know my baby a hot head & I would really lose my f----- mind if sum happened to (him).”
Horton’s next scheduled appearance in court is Feb. 8. Smith’s arraignment has yet to be determined.