UPDATE: As Many as Four Others Could be Involved in Saturday Night Murder in Lexington Park

August 25, 2020
Malachi Aaron Banks, 18, of Lexington Park

Malachi Aaron Banks, 18, of Lexington Park


UPDATE 8/25/2020 @ 9:45 A.M.: A press release issued by the Maryland State Police says a motive for the murder of Dyante Lee Battle, 32, remains under investigation, and that additional charges are possible. It goes on to say that, State Police investigators have not ruled out the possibility that others may be involved.

According to court documents, Battle’s body was located in a wooded area between the parking lot of Wendy’s and North Essex Drive, in Lexington Park. Police located “numerous and three different shell casings, which included .380, 9MM, and 40 caliber”, near the body.

A few hours after the murder, Maryland State Police investigators were notified by a witness that Malachi Aaron Banks, 18, of Lexington Park, responded to a residence located off of South Essex Drive, in Lexington Park, and confessed to having shot someone earlier in the evening. Police responded to the address and were able to see video surveillance footage of a male going to the front door and admitting that he just shot someone to another party on the front porch of the residence.

During an interview, the witness said Banks came to the house and he told her that he had shot someone and asked her for help, she said he asked her for a ride and to help get rid of a firearm that was used.

Police then responded to Hancock Drive, where they located Banks, and after a short foot pursuit ensued Banks was observed entering a residence and shortly thereafter, he was detained.

On Sunday, August 23rd, investigators were able to interview two of Banks brothers, during the interview, one of the brothers stated within days of the murder, he, Malachi, and another male (who he named) were out shooting guns in the backyard of their home on Hancock Drive. He described the gun Malachi was shooting as being a smaller gun.

During the investigation, police also recovered an additional ring camera located at a nearby residence of the murder scene, and a review of the camera revealed five suspects fleeing in dark clothing on the side of the residence. One of the suspects was identified as Banks, and another suspect was seen dropping something onto the ground near the fenced area, which later was found to be a .45 caliber handgun.

On Sunday, August 23, investigators executed a search and seizure warrant of Malachi’s residence on Hancock Drive and during the search they recovered one 9MM handgun, two rounds of .380 ammunition, one pistol holster, and numerous kinds of loose ammunition.

When investigators interviewed Banks he initially stated he was at his residence when the homicide occurred, but after being told that his father and brothers advised investigators he was not home when the shooting occurred, he said he was near Enterprise Road and saw people running away from the area when the shots were fired.

Banks told police that another male (he named to police) came to his residence and gave Banks a small silver semi-automatic handgun to hide in the residence.
Banks told police he the gun under the mattress in his bedroom.


UPDATE 8/24/2020 @ 2:30 p.M.: The victim has been identified as Dyante Lee Battle, 32, of Capitol Heights, Md. An autopsy at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined his manner of death was homicide and the cause was multiple gunshot wounds. Battle, also has a California, Maryland address is a few recent court cases.

During the weekend, investigators from the Maryland State Police conducted numerous interviews and served multiple search warrants as part of the investigation.  Information and evidence developed during the investigation led to the identification of the suspect as being involved in the murder.  A motive remains under investigation.  Additional charges are possible.  State Police investigators have not ruled out the possibility that others may be involved.

UPDATE 8/24/2020 @ 8:20 A.M.: Troopers from the Maryland State Police Leonardtown Barrack have made an arrest in the murder of a man who was found shot on Saturday, August 22, 2020, in Lexington Park.

The victim has been identified as a man in his 30’s from Prince George’s County. His name is being withheld at this time because family members have not yet been located and notified.

Malachi Aaron Banks, 18, of Lexington Park, was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree murder. Banks is currently incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Leonardtown, on a no bond status.

Updates will be provided as they become available.

UPDATE 8/23/2020 @1:50 P.M.: Maryland State Police are continuing their investigation into the murder of a man who was found shot last night in St. Mary’s County.

The victim has been identified as a man in his 30’s from Prince George’s County. His name is being withheld at this time because family members have not yet been located and notified.

Shortly before 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 22, 2020, troopers from the Leonardtown Barrack were dispatched to a call for shots fired in the area of Enterprise Road and N. Essex Drive, in Lexington Park.

Upon arrival in the area, they found the victim in a wood line and observed he had sustained what appeared to be multiple gunshot wounds. Troopers and responding St. Mary’s County emergency medical services personnel provided emergency care.

The victim was transported by ambulance to MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.

A perimeter was established around the area, with the assistance of deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office. Additional state troopers who had been working a crime suppression patrol were already in the area and assisted. The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit responded to conduct the investigation and State Police crime scene technicians responded to conduct evidence collection and scene processing.

During the night, searches of the area were conducted on foot, with K-9 units and with the assistance of a Maryland State Police helicopter. Residents in the area were contacted during a neighborhood canvas by investigators. Information developed during the investigation led to the service of a search warrant at a home in Lexington Park. Several people in that home are currently being interviewed as part of this investigation. After daylight today, investigators conducted an additional search of the crime scene.

The investigation is continuing. Anyone with information about this murder is urged to contact Maryland State Police at the Leonardtown Barrack at 301-475-8955. Callers may remain anonymous.

8/23/2020: On Saturday, August 22, 2020, at approximately 10:20 p.m., police and emergency medical personnel responded to the Wendy’s on Great Mills Road in Lexington Park, for the reported gunshot victim.

Crews arrived on the scene to find a male victim behind the Wendy’s and KFC Restaurants in the wooded areas with multiple gunshot wounds. He was reportedly semi-conscious on the scene prior to being transported to Millison Plaza for a fly out.

Maryland State Police Helicopter Trooper 7 landed at Millison Plaza. Approximately three minutes before landing, medics in the ambulance reported CPR was in progress.

The helicopter was cancelled and flew back to the State Police Hangar, with the victim being transported by ground to an area hospital with CPR in progress.

The victim was pronounced deceased a short time later.

Troopers from the Maryland State Police Leonardtown Barrack are investigating.