Arrest made in death of boy found unconscious outside SW DC apartment building

An arrest has been made in the death of a 2-year-old boy in Southwest D.C. last month.

On Friday, police arrested Dasean Matthews, 23, of Southeast D.C., on a charge of first-degree murder.

He is linked to the death of Mars Jones, who was pronounced dead five days after he was found on Oct. 13, unconscious on a sidewalk. The medical examiner said he died from “complications of inflicted trauma” and ruled how he died to be a homicide.

In addition to 911 calls, photos and interviews, police examined surveillance footage, one of which showed Matthews, Jones, Jones’ mother and another person in the garage of the Trinity Plaza Apartments on Oct. 13.

Matthews can be seen grabbing Jones, swinging him around and dragging him into the apartment building, where Jones’ mother lives, according to the arrest warrant affidavit. His mother saw what happened, but she walked back to the vehicle, the affidavit said.

Then in the lobby of the apartment, Matthews struck Jones in the face and upper body, causing him to fall across the floor, police said. Matthews, Jones and the other person then went to Jones’ mother’s apartment.

Jones’ mother returned to her apartment two hours later in a White Nissan. Two-and-a-half hours later Matthews, Jones and the other person were seen leaving the apartment.

An hour later, the White Nissan was seen approaching the 700 block of Newton Place NW and parking. One person leaves the vehicle from the passenger side. Twenty minutes later, Matthews leaves the car from the driver’s side, and goes back in three minutes later.

Police said that there was a subject inside the vehicle, who can be seen moving about. “At one point, the movement from inside the car rocks the entire car,” according to the affidavit.

The car then leaves, and is tracked back to the Southwest apartment, where police said the mother retrieved Jones before Matthews left in the White Nissan.

Police arrived after a report of an unconscious child and found Jones on the sidewalk in front of the apartment building. His mother was kneeling next to him performing CPR, the affidavit said. Jones’ mother and Matthews met in January 2022 and began a relationship, she told police

The charges accuse Matthews of first-degree cruelty to children that led to Jones’ death. He is being held without bond; his next court date is scheduled Nov. 14.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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