- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The family of Demetrius Lamarr Hall, a 26-year-old man who was found dead in Lake Lariat in 2008, does not believe his death was an accidental drowning, as it was ruled six years ago.
On Friday, May 2, the six-year anniversary of Hall’s death, his family stood along Church Street outside the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, holding signs of protest.
Martha Tate, Hall’s mother, was one of the demonstrators Friday morning. She said her family still has “unanswered questions” regarding her son’s death.
“We’re out here because police brutality sometimes goes too far,” Tate said. “We’re not just here for my son. We’re here for other people.”
At about 9:22 p.m. May 2, 2008, deputies were dispatched to a residence in the 11000 block of Durango Drive in the Chesapeake Ranch Estates for a loud party and drug violation complaint, and when they responded, they allegedly heard someone running in the woods but did not find anyone and left the scene, according to the police report regarding the incident.
At about 4:51 p.m. the next day, a deputy was dispatched to an address in the 11000 block of Stirrup Lane in CRE for a report of a missing person, and the complainant, Tate, said Hall, her son, had been missing since May 2, and she had not heard from him, according to the report. She further stated that Hall had been at the Durango Drive address the previous night when the deputies responded to the loud party complaint, and Hall’s friends told Tate that Hall had been the person who had fled the residence and ran into the woods, the report states.
Tate told the deputies Hall had an open warrant and that was probably why he fled the residence when the police arrived, the report states.
On May 4, 2008, members of the sheriff’s office Special Operations Team and members of the Solomons Volunteer Fire Department conducted a search of the area around the Durango Drive address, including nearby Lake Lariat, and did not locate Hall, the report states, and says that at no time did deputies see Hall, nor was he ever in police custody.
Deputies were dispatched to the area of Lake Lariat in CRE for the report of a body in the water at about 5:08 p.m. May 5, 2008, and the body was later identified as Hall’s, the report states.
There were no signs of trauma on Hall’s body, and the toxicology report indicated Hall’s blood alcohol content was 0.06, according to the report. An autopsy report by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Maryland concluded its investigation finding the death of Hall, of Lusby, to be an accidental drowning, the sheriff’s office reported.
“I feel for the family, but there was nothing we could have done about it,” Sheriff Mike Evans (R) said in an interview Wednesday.
Evans said the sheriff’s office will reopen cases if there is new evidence, but regarding Hall, Evans said, the case is closed.
“This case was investigated thoroughly,” Evans said. “There was absolutely no wrongdoing on the sheriff’s office[‘s part].”
Tate claims she never was offered the opportunity to identify her son’s body, stating that when she went to the funeral home, the casket had been sealed.
“I would like a one-on-one talk with [the sheriff] and the investigators” to get answers, she said.
Evans said he has not received a request from Tate but will “talk to any citizen” who has a question about a case or incident.
Geraldina Hall-Miles, Hall’s aunt, said the family has made other similar protests since 2006 and has no plans to stop.
“We will be out here until we get our point across,” Hall-Miles said.