Paul Jefferies Held in Fatal Emory Recreation Center Fight

The beating death of a 24-year-old DC man last fall happened after two groups of young men tussled with each other, one group trying to rob the other one, police say.

The victim, Awele Olisemeka, was found unconscious, holding a broken piece of baseball bat, near the Emory Recreation Center in Northwest DC at 4:40 in the afternoon on Monday, September 16.

According to charging documents in the case, friends of Olisemeka’s were walking to meet him in Northwest DC when a group of young men assaulted and tried to rob them. Later, when some of those friends spotted their alleged assailants, a fight broke out and Olisemeka was killed.

Police say 20-year-old Paul Jefferies was in that group and this week charged him with second-degree murder in connection with the case.

In an interview with police Jefferies initially denied being a part of the fight, saying he left the recreation center when the fight broke out. Later, he said he saw Olisemeka and two others approach a single person, who pulled a knife. Olisemeka swung a bat and Jefferies, holding an infant, was struck in the back of the head, Jefferies said. After being struck, he handed the infant to someone else, reached for a brick, and struck Olisemeka, Jefferies said.

Later, Jefferies said that after he picked up the brick, Olisemeka ran towards him and Jefferies threw the brick at him.

Jefferies appeared at DC Superior Court Friday to be presented with the second-degree murder charge. He was ordered held in the case pending a preliminary hearing, which is set for January 6 at 9 a.m.

Charging documents in the case are below.

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