Detectives: Simmering Feud Preceded Arthur Lee Gaither’s Death

Before the fight that left Arthur Lee Gaither dead, John Dyson and Alisha King left a note on his girlfriend’s car, warning him: “Dis ain’t what you want lil dude.”

Charging documents say Dyson and King went to Gaither’s residence on December 9 to confront him about threatening texts he sent to Dyson earlier that morning. They knocked on his apartment door, documents say, but no one answered. It’s unclear if Gaither ever saw their note.

A judge found probable cause Monday against Dyson and King for second-degree murder charges in connection with Gaither’s death. Dyson will be held at the D.C. jail until his arraignment. King, who has no prior criminal record, is released into high intensity supervision.

Gaither lived in the Arbor View Apartments in the 1200 block of Southern Avenue Southeast. During the hearing, the prosecution played surveillance video showing Dyson and King in the apartment complex’s parking lot. After they leave the note, Dyson and King walk towards the exit onto Southern Avenue.

Detective James Wilson testified that Gaither was in his apartment when King and Dyson knocked on the door. He called 911 and told police he was being threatened.

It is unclear why Gaither left his apartment. When King and Dyson saw him, the three of them leave the camera’s view. A couple minutes later, Gaither is being chased by King and Dyson.

Video from another camera angle shows Dyson and King in a fight with Gaither. The video is not close enough to reveal who, if either of them, had the knife that killed Gaither. The video shows the two of them running away, but Gaither never gets up again.

When police arrested Dyson and King, both denied stabbing Gaither and neither one had a knife. Dyson had a small laceration on his pinky that was bleeding.

But King’s defense attorney, Janet Mitchell, argued that Dyson was the one who had motive.

Dyson was mad about the threatening texts from Gaither and told King that he wanted to “f— him up,” according to charging documents.

Mitchell said King had no idea that Dyson was intending to kill Gaither. In King’s mind, there was going to be a verbal confrontation and possibly a fist fight.

Additionally, Detective Wilson testified that Dyson and Gaither’s girlfriend had a child together. Dyson threatened to kill her in a phone call to her mother that he made during the summer.

Wilson said the disagreement between Dyson and Gaither has been going for at least that long. Gaither and his girlfriend were living together at Arbor View.

It is clear that Dyson arrives to confront Gaither,” Judge Russell Canan said before ruling. “What is equally clear is that Mr. Gaither is a willing participant.”

Judge Canan said it was impossible to determine who started the fight because the interaction before the assault was out of camera view.

It seems to me that in reality, Mr. Dyson stabbed Mr. Gaither,” Judge Canan told the court. “It’s not uncommon when people use knives that they cut themselves.”

King and Dyson are scheduled for a status hearing on February 6 at 10:00 a.m. in courtroom 302.

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