Ex-Boyfriend Suspected of Killing Georgetown University Hospital Employee in her Home

Shawn Davis, the man arrested last week in connection with the stabbing death of 41-year-old Georgeotown University Hospital employee Tawana Barnes Copeland, is believed to be victim’s ex-boyfriend and may have arranged the crime scene in Copeland’s home to look like a burglary, charging documents in the case allege.

Davis, also known as Shawn Jones, was presented with first-degree murder charges Thursday, Jan. 13. The 36-year-old is currently in custody at D.C. Jail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled in the case for Jan. 24, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. in courtroom 320 (Judge Gerald Fisher).

Copeland’s body was found in her Southwest D.C. apartment on Dec. 7, 2010 at about 8:40 p.m. According to charging documents in the case, Copeland’s face and neck were covered in dried blood. A later autopsy revealed multiple stab wounds.

Davis is believed to have been in touch with Copeland on the day of her murder. A witness told police that the two broke up in late Septmeber 2010 and that Davis was upset over the ending of the relationship.

A third witness hereinafter referred to as W-3 reported that the [Copeland] and [Davis] ended their relationship in the later part of September of 2010. The [Copeland] told W-3 that [Davis] was angry about the breakup. The [Copeland] advised W-3 that her vehicle’s tires had been flattened by [Davis]. [Copeland] also told W-3 that another occasion [Davis] had broken the [Copeland’s] vehicle’s front head light and rear tail light. [Copeland] never reported either incident to law enforcement. [Copeland] also reported to W-3 that [Davis] texted her several messages using profanity because he was angry over the demise of the relationship.

According to charging documents in the case (posted below), Davis told investigators that the break up had been “amicable” and that he had stayed in touch with Copeland, even though he was “hurt” that she was dating someone else.

According to the documents, investigators also believe that the crime scene— Copeland’s home— may have been arranged by her attacker to look like a burglary.

…the kitchen window [was] open, the blind was pulled up, and the screen appeared to be pushed outward. A metal pole was observed on the kitchen floor. The metal pole appeared to be utilized to secure the kitchen window. All ofthe remaining windows in the apartment had a similar type of metal or wood object on the interior portion of the window to prevent the window from being pried open from the outside… There were no signs of forced entry to the apartment door to include damage to the door knob or to the dead bolt. It was your afiiant’s conclusion, based on his experience in investigating violent crimes including home invasions and homicides, that the crime scene was staged to give the appearance that it was a burglary.

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