Seventh suspect in beating death of teen turns himself in
June 23, 2004
Fred Lewis
Staff Writer

A seventh suspect wanted in connection with the beating death of 16-year-old Malik McCoy turned himself in to county police last week, ending a weeklong search for the 22-year-old Silver Spring man.

During a bond hearing last week for five of the alleged conspirators in the June 4 slaying, Douglas F. Gansler, the state's attorney for Montgomery County, said Sovannary Yoeun of the 9800 block of Hollow Glen Place in Silver Spring had "fled the area," but was confident an arrest was imminent.

Yoeun turned himself in Thursday at the First District station, a week after Montgomery County Police had issued an arrest warrant His bond was set at $1 million. During a bond hearing Friday, a judge reduced his bail to $100,000, citing his lack of a criminal record and his alleged role in the attack.

Yoeun and five others face second-degree murder, second-degree assault and conspiracy to commit first-degree assault charges. Jelani Parker, 16, of the 14900 block of Cleese Court in Silver Spring; Tyrone Andre Nichols, 23, of the 10100 block of McKenney Avenue in Silver Spring; George Hanna Haddad, 19, of the 11000 block of Grassy Knoll Terrace in Germantown; Jerrold Chandler, 17, of the 13300 block of Hathaway Drive in Silver Spring; and Dante Farrah, 17, of the 13900 block of Valleyfield Drive in Silver Spring are awaiting preliminary hearing dates scheduled for the end of June and the beginning of July.

Jonathan Usama Dubbaneh, 17, of the unit block of Homecrest Court in Silver Spring was charged with manslaughter and conspiracy to commit first-degree assault and is also awaiting a preliminary hearing. The teenagers have been charged as adults.

According to Dubbaneh's testimony in court charging documents, Dubbaneh, Farrah, Chandler and Dubbaneh's cousin, Haddad, were at Yoeun's residence when Parker called to report that he had been in an argument with McCoy earlier that day in the principal's office at John F. Kennedy High School and requested their help in finding McCoy for a fight.

The group responded and a search ensued in an attempt to find McCoy and 17-year-old Christopher Honore, a prosecution witness who was injured in the fight.

Parker left the group to find McCoy himself and while waiting for him to return, Haddad's friend, Nichols, joined the group.

According to court documents, all seven went to an apartment building in the 14000 block of Valleyfield Drive in Silver Spring where McCoy was visiting friends.

At about 10 p.m., Parker, accompanied by another witness, knocked on the door and asked McCoy to come out to fight, while Dubbaneh, Farrah, Chandler and Haddad hid in the bushes, according to Dubbaneh's testimony in court documents. Nichols and Yoeun were in the parking lot near their car.

When McCoy and Honore came outside, Dubbaneh, Farrah, Chandler and Haddad emerged from the bushes, and Nichols and Yoeun joined them at the rear of the residence where the fight occurred.

Witnesses describe a violent fight that got out of control in which several people struck McCoy multiple times. Dubbaneh said he saw Yoeun strike Honore in the face during the fight, according to charging documents.

When police and rescue units arrived, they found McCoy unconscious and suffering from head trauma. McCoy, who lived on Chesterwood Drive in Silver Spring, was taken to Montgomery General Hospital in Olney, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

McCoy died of severe blunt trauma to the head and the manner of death was homicide, the Office of the Medical Examiner in Baltimore ruled.

After the fight, Dubbaneh, Chandler, Farrah, Haddad, Nichols and Yoeun went to a movie theater in Rockville, and later, at Yoeun's suggestion, to a hotel, because Farrah had received phone calls from friends stating that McCoy was seriously injured, according to charging documents.