Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.
QUESTION: On high school grad night in June 2010, a celebrating senior grad/athlete was shot and killed while celebrating at the Holiday Inn Express in Elk Grove. Was that crime ever solved and the culprits brought to justice?
Submitted by: CTrapp, Elk Grove
ANSWER: Nine people were arrested in connection with the shooting death of 18-year-old D'andre Blackwell, a popular former Valley High School basketball player, on June 5, 2010.
According to stories in The Bee, several parties, including at least one graduation party, were taking place in the Holiday Inn Express at West Stockton and Laguna boulevards in Elk Grove. Police said word of the parties had spread through social networking sites.
At 11:18 p.m., police responded to an emergency call from the hotel and found Blackwell lying dead in the hallway on the third floor with a gunshot wound to the chest.
Blackwell and some friends reportedly were confronted by a large group of males on the first floor. An argument ensued and Blackwell was shot. He made it back to the third floor before collapsing, and the suspects fled.
According to Sacramento Superior Court online records, five people are scheduled for trial Jan. 15 on murder charges: Al Henry Allen, Isaevion Anderson, Jahmal Dawson, Brandon Washington and Marquess Wilson.
Four others -- Deandre Lamar Gomes, Kionte Lightner, Graylon Darnell Lindsey and Raymond Shaw -- have pleaded no contest to being accessories to the crime and are to be sentenced Jan. 11.
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