Police Announce Arrests Made in Two Murder Investigations

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Suspects Dontae Davis and Freddie Battle arrested in connection to the Leam Sovanasy murder investigation.

Suspects Dontae Davis and Freddie Battle arrested in connection to the Leam Sovanasy murder investigation.

At a news conference held Thursday, September 12, 2013, the Long Beach Police Department announced that arrests were made in the 2009 murder of 76-year-old Leam Sovanasy, which occurred in the 1400 block of Peterson Avenue, and the 2013 murder of 23-year-old Jazzmine Wash, which occurred in the 500 block of Walnut Avenue.

Leam Sovanasy Investigation

On Saturday, January 31, 2009, 76-year-old Leam Sovanasy was found in her home, located in the 1400 block of Peterson Avenue, by family members just after 11:00 a.m. She had sustained multiple stab wounds to her upper torso and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

An evaluation of the crime scene showed classic signs of a burglary, with a point of entry being a window. It was determined that a purse containing cash was taken in the burglary. In July 2013, through the investigation, detectives identified an early 90’s model white Chevrolet Caprice that was seen in the area around the time of the murder. Detectives canvassed the neighborhood and distributed fliers in both English and Khmer, the Cambodian language, with the information concerning this vehicle and asking for the public’s help. A few days later, detectives released a composite sketch of a male subject who was seen driving a similar vehicle.

In August 2013, the lead detective received a phone call from a male subject who identified himself as the person in the composite sketch. He spoke with the detective, and during their conversation, identified himself as Dontae Davis. He attempted to obtain information from the detective with regards to the investigation, and indicated that he would come down to the station with his attorney, but never did. Through a records check, it was learned that Dontae Davis had an extensive criminal history, which included arrests for theft, burglary, and robbery.

Detectives looked at historical records for associates of Dontae Davis, and identified Freddie Battle as a possible associate. Detectives were able to locate previous traffic citations connecting both Davis and Battle to the described Chevrolet Caprice, one of the citations as recent as the day before the murder.

Believing that burglary may have been a motive in the crime, detectives reviewed pawn records and determined that both suspects had pawn histories both before and after the murder. Detectives noted that there was an immediate 8-month lull in both of their pawn activities after the murder occurred.

Fresh DNA samples were collected from Davis and Battle so they could be directly compared to evidence that was collected from the murder scene. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Crime Lab able to confirm the DNA matched the samples collected.

On Thursday, September 5, 2013, 25-year-old Freddie Battle of Long Beach was arrested in the 2200 block of Pine Avenue in Long Beach, near the home of an acquaintance. At the time of his arrest, he was found to be in possession of a loaded firearm that was concealed on his person.

On Friday, September 6, 2013, 24-year-old Dontae Davis, who is also known as Daniia Lasean Davis, was arrested near his residence in Victorville without incident.

On Monday, September 9, 2013, the case was presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office who filed the following charges against both suspects:

  • Murder
  • Use of a dangerous weapon during a murder
  • First-degree burglary
  • Murder during the commission of a burglary

Jazzmize Walsh Investigation

On Thursday, July 25, 2013, at approximately 6:20 a.m., Long Beach Police responded to a shots fired call in the 500 block of Walnut Avenue. When officers arrived, they discovered Jazzmine, who had sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the upper body, lying in the courtyard of an apartment complex. Long Beach Fire Department paramedics responded and pronounced her deceased at the scene.

The preliminary investigation indicated that Jazzmine had arrived at the home of relatives to drop off her 3-year-old son. She had walked back out of the residence and it was during that time that she was shot.

Through further investigation, detectives learned that Jazzmine had been the victim of a crime in Los Angeles earlier that morning when someone unknown, pulled up to her in a vehicle while she was seated on a bus bench, and pointed a gun at her. No shots were fired and the suspect fled the location. The L.A.P.D. concluded their report, and took Jazzmine and her child to a police station where she could safely wait for a ride home. A 16-year-old female friend went to the police station to pick-up Jazzmine and her son. After arriving in Long Beach about one hour later, Jazzmine was shot and killed in front of her grandparents’ home after she had gone back out to the car the 16-year-old was driving to retrieve her son’s diaper bag.

Long Beach Police homicide detectives learned that 30-year-old Jason Haggerty of Los Angeles, had conspired with the 16-year-old female friend to pick-up Jazzmine and take her to her grandparents’ house, where he was lying in wait to commit the murder. Through the course of their investigation, detectives learned that Haggerty was facing a probation violation that he blamed on Jazzmine, and this was the motive for the murder. It was determined that Haggerty and the female juvenile were friends of Jazzmine.

On Friday, September 6, Jason Haggerty, who was already in-custody on an unrelated matter, was transferred to L.B.P.D. custody and booked. The 16-year-old was also taken into custody on Friday, September 6, 2013, at her home in Los Angeles.

On Tuesday, September 10, 2013, the case were presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, who filed the following charges against both Jason Haggerty, and the 16-year-old female who is not being named due to her age:

  • Murder
  • Murder while lying in wait
  • Use of a firearm during murder

In addition, Haggerty is also facing the charge of:

  • Premeditated attempted murder

Haggerty has an extensive criminal history, which includes assaults, property crimes, narcotics violations, and fraud. The female juvenile’s case, a resident of Los Angeles, was filed directly with the LA County District Attorney’s Office as an adult.

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