Hotel murder suspect answered Craigslist ad; planned robbery

WASHINGTON — The woman charged with killing a young D.C. attorney inside a Thomas Circle hotel arranged to meet the lawyer through a Craigslist posting and intended to rob him, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday.

Jamyra Gallmon, 21, of Good Hope Road in Southeast D.C., is charged with murdering 30-year-old David Messerschmitt inside a Donovan Hotel room Feb. 9. Messerschmitt’s wife had reported him missing and his body was found by hotel staff the next day.

Gallmon made her initial court appearance Thursday wearing a bright orange jacket. Her defense attorney entered her plea of not guilty, claiming her’s was “an imperfect self-defense.”

Cellphone and email records led police to Gallmon. Investigators say she responded to a Craigslist ad that Messerschmitt had posted to solicit men, and agreed to meet him at the hotel, according to court documents.

She used an alias email address to communicate with Messerschmitt that investigators used to get her phone number and identify her, court records say. The email address is, and that they want to talk with anyone who is familiar with that address.

Gallmon told police that she stabbed Messerschmitt when he grabbed her arm as she tried to leave his hotel room. She told investigators that she had a flashback of when she was assaulted previously and she believed that she stabbed Messerschmitt three times.

However an autopsy found that Messerschmitt was stabbed seven times to various locations on his body including his back, chest and groin. One of the stab wounds was 5 inches deep breaking a bone in the spinal column and piercing a lung. Two others went through his heart and liver, according to court records.

Police found blood on the floor and walls of Messerschmitt’s hotel room. Credit cards from his wallet were strewn about the room. In addition to the stab wounds and other injuries, he had defensive cuts to his hands, which were bound with neon-colored zip ties, court records say.

Police say Gallmon took cash, a SmarTrip card and Messerschmitt’s cellphone, which she told investigators she threw in the trash after leaving the hotel along with her bloody clothes.

She told police she took the knife she used to stab Messerschmitt back to her apartment. During a search of her apartment, police found a knife along with brightly colored zip ties similar to those found in the hotel room.

Gallmon was ordered held without bail until her next court hearing set for April 10.

Meanwhile police continue investigating. D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said that detectives want to hear from anyone who recognizes the email Gallmon used on Craigslist.

WTOP’s Megan Cloherty contributed to this report. 

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