Suspect in DC hotel murder reportedly fired gunshots during an intoxicated altercation, according to eyewitnesses.

During his first court appearance, 18-year-old Jelani Cousin, who is suspected of killing someone on New Year’s Day at a hotel in Northwest D.C., was denied bond. He was the first homicide suspect of 2024 after being charged with second-degree murder while armed in the death of Ashlei Hinds, an 18-year-old. During a fight on the seventh floor of the Embassy Suites Hotel on Military Road, Northwest, Hinds was shot and killed.

According to court documents, Hinds and a few others had originally intended to go to a party in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. But because it was getting late, they had to alter their plans. Witnesses revealed that Cousin, a.k.a. “Tall,” became a member of Hinds’ organization after getting to know a member previously. Witnesses stated that Cousin had consumed wine, drawn his revolver, and gotten into a furious dispute with one of the party’s inebriated guests.

A court affidavit’s witness accounts say that Cousin threatened to “blow this spot up” before the argument got out of hand outside the hotel room. Witnesses described how Cousin shot through the door several times, killing Hinds, after realizing that it was closed on him.

At the time, Hinds was a Louisiana State University undergraduate who was on winter vacation. She was regarded as an outstanding person who participated actively in a number of activities and had excelled in high school. Tiffany Falden, her mother, spoke of her shock and grief while highlighting the good aspects of her daughter and the untimely death.

According to reports, Cousin was seen wearing a ski mask as he left the hotel on camera. He turned himself up to the authorities on January 2. Falden went to Cousin’s first court appearance with her family, where bond was rejected. January 16 is the next scheduled date of the court.

Thanking everyone for their support, Falden promises to honor her daughter’s memory even as she struggles with this unanticipated tragedy.

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