A fatal stabbing on Tuesday morning in downtown Silver Spring came after a drug deal that turned into a fight, according to charging documents.
Dakari Thomas, 18, is accused of stabbing 19-year-old Getro Benamna to death on Tuesday near the intersection of Fenton Street and Ellsworth Drive, according to charging documents. Thomas was ordered held without bond by a Montgomery County judge on Thursday.
Around 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Montgomery County police were called to a Starbucks at 915 Ellsworth Drive, where they found Thomas with stab wounds on his arms and hands, according to charging documents.
Thomas told police that Benamna met him for a drug deal and they had a fight. Thomas told police that Benamna pulled a knife on him and cut his arms, before Thomas took the knife away from him and tried to stab him.
Benamna then fled to Fenton Street, Thomas told officers.
Police said they recovered the knife and found a blood trail. They found Benamna on Fenton Street with a stab wound on his chest. He was taken to a hospital, where he later died of his injuries.
Documents state that police recovered surveillance video showing the two fighting near the intersection of Fenton Street and Ellsworth Drive. The video shows Thomas holding a knife and “moving aggressively” toward Benamna.
The fight then moved down Ellsworth Drive to an area near Starbucks, documents state. The two then fled in opposite directions.
Thomas was charged with first-degree murder, which was an upgrade from the initial charge of assault. The charge changed after Benamna died, police said previously.
During a bond review hearing Thursday, Assistant State’s Attorney Cortenous Herbert said Thomas had been on probation at the time of the killing due to a robbery he was allegedly involved in a few weeks beforehand.
Herbert said Thomas tried to evade officers when they arrested him in connection with the stabbing of Benamna, and got about 50 feet from them. Herbert said Thomas is both a danger to the community and a flight risk.
Thomas’s attorney, Paul Chung, said during the hearing that he didn’t agree his client was a flight risk because he didn’t have a job and had no place to go.
Thomas joined the hearing by a video connection from the Montgomery County Detention Center, and was instructed by Chung not to say anything.
District Court Judge Holly Reed ultimately agreed that Thomas was a danger to the community and ordered him held without bond. Thomas will have a preliminary hearing Jan. 7.
Following the hearing, Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy told reporters that business leaders in downtown Silver Spring have become worried about the amount of violent crime that has occurred recently.
McCarthy said a crime suppression task force has been formed that includes prosecutors from his office and police. Business and civic leaders also will have input on the task force, he said.
Dan Schere can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org