Dayton murder suspect accused of attempting to bribe, coerce witnesses

Da'Jahnn Phillip Alexander
Da'Jahnn Phillip Alexander

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

A Dayton murder suspect is accused of trying to bribe and coerce witnesses in the cases to not appear at trial, which is scheduled to start next week.

Da’Jahnn Alexander, 20, was indicted Wednesday on obstructing justice and bribery, according to Montgomery County Common Pleas Court records. The charges are in addition to his initial indictment on murder, felonious assault and tampering with evidence that was filed in March.

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On Wednesday, Judge Michael Krumholtz ordered the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office suspend all of Alexander’s phone, text, email, video and communication privileges after the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office filed a motion claiming Alexander was attempting to bribe and coerce witnesses from jail.

“Since his incarceration at the jail, Defendant has used his phone and visitation privileges to the bribe and attempt to coerce these witnesses not to appear at trial,” read a memorandum filed with the prosecution’s motion. “He is doing so using other inmate’s numbers in an attempt to avoid detection.”

On Sept. 19, Alexander reportedly contacted one of three witnesses and tried to convince the witness to change their contact information to avoid being detected. On Oct. 19, the prosecution claims Alexander contacted the same witness again and strategized how to offer the witness and two other witnesses money in order to have them not testify.

Alexander’s trial is scheduled to start Monday. However, his defense attorney, Lucas Wilder, filed a motion to continue the trial.

A memorandum filed by the defense cited new discovery and a change of trial strategy as the reasons behind the motion.

“Counsel received over 2,000 phone calls and/or emails that have been made (or sent) by Defendant,” the memorandum read. “Some of the contact Defendant has made with these witnesses has resulted in a re-indictment on bribery and obstruction charges.”

Due to those recent developments, Wilder wrote the defense needs more time to review the discovery and to prepare for trial.

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Alexander is accused of shooting and killing 19-year-old Jermaine Lewis outside the Red Roof Inn in Butler Twp., according to Vandalia Municipal Court records. On Oct. 9, 2020, he reportedly shot Lewis multiple times from the back seat of a vehicle.

Alexander has been in the Montgomery County Jail since March 9, according to jail booking records.

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