He is one of two men charged in the 2021 killing of Dion Lamarr Ford Jr.
One of the two brothers charged with murder in last year’s St. Paul shooting death of Dion Lamarr Ford Jr., a former high school and college basketball star, has been sentenced to more than 25 years in prison.
D’Angelo Semaj Dampier (Courtesy of Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office)
A jury in October convicted D’Angelo Semaj Dampier, 20, of St. Paul, of second-degree murder with intent, second-degree murder without intent-while committing a felony, aiding an offender by being an accomplice after the fact and two counts of possession of a firearm or ammunition by an ineligible person.
Dampier’s 22-year-old brother, Xavion Tyrece Bell, is accused of firing the shots that killed the 21-year-old Ford during a robbery attempt outside a North End convenience store in March.
Bell, of St. Paul, has pending charges of second-degree murder with intent-not premeditated and second-degree murder without intent-while committing a felony. A jury trial is scheduled to begin July 3.
Ramsey County District Judge Andrew Gordon on Wednesday sentenced Dampier to 303 months, which falls in the middle of the box of state guidelines; prosecutors sought a top-of-the box prison term of 367 months. Dampier will receive credit for 303 days already served in custody.
Ford graduated from St. Paul’s Central High School in 2019. He was an all-conference basketball player who went on to play at Lake Region State College in North Dakota, Casper College in Wyoming and North Dakota State College of Science.
Dion Lamarr Ford Jr. (Courtesy photo)
According the the criminal complaint, surveillance video showed Bell attempt to rob Ford as he left the Maryland Supermarket at Maryland Avenue and Arundel Street around 9:15 p.m. March 31.
Ford, who had a permit to carry a handgun, then shot Bell. He fell to the ground and fired repeatedly at Ford.
Ford suffered multiple gunshot wounds, including one to the head, and paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene. Bell was critically injured with a gunshot wound to his back. He declined to give a statement to police.
Dampier, who was arrested April 4, told investigators that he and another person dropped Bell off at the store to grab some food. He heard gunshots and “had a gut feeling that Bell was in danger,” the complaint against Dampier states.
Investigators asked Dampier what he did when he saw Ford shoot his brother and he responded, “Right hand to God, I’m not going to lie — no reason to lie. I shot back,” according to the complaint. He said he hadn’t struck Ford.
Dampier initially said he fired five to six times, and then said he fired until his handgun’s magazine was empty.
He said he didn’t know Ford and didn’t think Bell did, either.
He also said he took home the guns that he and Bell used, but he didn’t know where they ended up. Police carried out a search warrant at Dampier’s residence along Como Avenue and found a backpack that contained several handgun magazines and loose rounds of various calibers.
Dampier is not eligible to possess firearms or ammunition because of an adjudication when he was a juvenile for robbery, the complaint said.
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