DC man found guilty in 3rd trial of 2015 Ballou High School student killing

After juries were unable to reach a verdict in two previous trials, a third jury has found a D.C. man guilty of murdering a Ballou High School student in 2015.

Prosecutors say 26-year-old Derryck Decuir killed 15-year-old Malek Mercer after the teen snickered at him at a D.C. bus stop.

According to investigators, on June 16, 2015, Decuir was being teased by a friend about looking at and commenting on Mercer’s belt, when Mercer chuckled at Decuir. Prosecutors said this upset Decuir, who after a 10-minute bus ride from the L’Enfant Plaza station, followed Mercer off the bus and shot the high school student in the neck, without saying a word. Mercer died at the hospital.

Police said the two didn’t know one another.

A D.C. Superior Court found Decuir guilty of second-degree murder while armed with an enhancement for committing a crime against a minor. He was also found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm and obstruction of justice. His two initial trials ended with the jury being deadlocked on two charges against Decuir.

According to recorded jail phone conversations, Decuir told friends to find the murder weapon in his backyard, and move it, before police get a hold of it. Police eventually found the murder weapon about a year after the murder.

Decuir will be sentenced in July and faces up to 60 years in prison.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this story stated Decuir only had one previous trial. This story has been corrected. 

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