Trial underway in 2018 murder of Richmond woman found shot behind her home


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The trial of Lemar J. McDaniel Jr., the man accused of murdering a 22-year-old woman in 2018 and then hiding her body in a trash can behind her house, is underway in Richmond.

During a welfare check on July 31, 2018, Devin S. Harrison’s father told authorities he had not seen his daughter in 24 hours. Later that day, Harrison’s body was found behind her home on Fairfax Avenue. Richmond police confirmed Harrison had been shot.

On Monday, the prosecution said McDaniel and Harrison were in a relationship that was coming to an end.

RELATED: Man charged with murdering 22-year-old Richmond woman, hiding body

Court documents obtained by 8News show Harrison had a single gunshot wound to the forehead and was wrapped in a blanket when her body was found. Stuffed inside the blanket were court documents related to domestic violence allegations between McDaniel and Harrison. The documents included subpoenas, criminal complaints and an Emergency Protective Order. 

The documents also show Harrison was due in Domestic Relations Court on July 31, 2018 to testify against McDaniel in two pending assault and battery of a family member charges. 

McDaniel, who was in jail on unrelated charges, was charged in October with Harrison’s murder. On Oct. 1, 2018, McDaniel was charged with murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and concealment of a dead body, police said.

A jury was selected and opening statements were heard during the first day of the trial. The Commonwealth plans to call up more than 20 witnesses to give evidence showing McDaniel is guilty.

The defense said they expect evidence will not be enough to prove McDaniel committed the murder. Defense Attorney Dan Hall pointed out Harrison had a previous relationship with a man who was charged with breaking and entering into her home, a firearm was never recovered and Harrison’s time of death is unknown. 

The Commonwealth began calling witnesses to the stand, starting with Devin Harrison’s mother, Alberta Harrison, on Monday.

The trial is expected to last three days. It continues Tuesday at 9 a.m. in Richmond City Circuit Court. 

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