City Desk

Joseph Randolph Mays: ‘I Told Them To Stop Fucking With Me’

Yesterday, Joseph Randolph Mays was arraigned on homicide charges for allegedly murdering his girlfriend Erika Peters and her two young sons in their Carver Terrace apartment on Saturday. In filings before the court, the D.C. police wrote a narrative of what transpired on that Saturday afternoon. It is the first detailed account of the triple murder that took place at 2000 Maryland Ave. NE, Apt. 104.

The details are incredibly sad. At first, there appeared to be some confusion between the officer and the dispatcher about the nature of the call for Apt. 104. The dispatcher believed that the call for "trouble" may have been just a joke.

Sgt. Tyshena Wallace of cruiser 553 arrived on the scene and began knocking on the door. Sgt. Wallace heard a voice from within the apartment saying, 'no, stop.' Sgt. Wallace did not hear anything else. Sgt. Wallace called the dispatcher and advised her to utilize the call back. The dispatcher advised that every time she called the phone number, the call intercept came on blocking the call. Sgt. Wallace asked the dispatcher, 'what was the call for' and the dispatcher advised, 'a child screaming on the phone possibly playing.'

Eventually, a second officer arrives on the scene. Officer Karim begins to knock on the door of Apt. 104 while Sgt. Wallace calls the Peters home.

Sgt. Wallace could hear the phone ringing within the apartment, but no one responded to the phone call. Captain Lamar West arrived on the scene and approved forced entry into the apartment. The fire board was requested to respond to the scene. Thereafter the fire board arrived on the scene and forced entry into the apartment. Upon attempting to gain entry the firemen had difficulties opening the door.

At this point, how much time elapsed becomes a huge question. Fire department spokesperson Alan Etter says that an engine was dispatched at 1:44 p.m. What fire personnel found inside, the document states, was horrifying.

Upon pushing the door open a fireman screamed, 'we have a male child on the floor by the door bleeding!' This victim was later identified as 10-year-old 'D.P.' The difficulty of the door being opened was due to the fact that there was a bar 'propped' up behind the door, barricading the door for entry. Sgt. Wallace requested medical personnel to respond to the scene. Once inside, Sgt. Wallace and Officer Karim began to clear the apartment for safety. The officers walked to the rear of the apartment and observed a black female laying unconscious and unresponsive in the hallway. This victim was later identified as 37-year-old Erika Peters.

The officers worked their way through the apartment. Behind a locked room, an officer found Mays.

Proceeding down the hallway to the door on the left, which was locked, Officer Karim kicked the door open and observed a black adult male (subsequently identified as defendant Joseph Mays) laying face down on the floor, attempting to appear unconscious. Officer Karim observed a large hunting knife on a small dresser next to the defendant. Sgt. Wallace also observed a female toddler, kneeling on the floor crying, toward the left of the defendant.

Officer Karim went to the next room, the bathroom.

Inside the bathroom, Officer Karim located another victim, unconscious and unresponsive. This victim was later identified as 11-year-old 'E.P.' The fire board attended to D.P., carried him out the apartment, and transported him to Children's Hospital. Moments later additional medics began carrying out the defendant on a stretcher and transported him to MedStar.

Detectives M.W. Johnson and Douglas Reynolds followed Mays to Washington Hospital Center. They questioned Mays at the hospital. Mays talked freely.

The defendant provided his name as Joseph Randolph Mays, residing at 2000 Maryland Avenue, Northeast, apartment #104. The defendant also correctly stated the date and provided his correct phone number. When the defendant was asked, 'what happened?' the defendant stated, 'my girlfriend and her son [E.P.] has been fucking with me for the past three days, I was fixing my little girl's hair.' Detective Johnson stopped the defendant and asked him 'how old is your little girl?' The defendant replied, 'three years old.' The defendant then stated, 'I told them to stop fucking with me, they would not leave me.'

Mays continued for a moment. What he said was unclear to detectives.

When the detectives again asked the defendant [what] happened, the defendant stated that he 'blacked out' and could not remember. The defendant was taken to X-ray and the interview ended.

It was the doctor's turn to check Mays out.

Medical personnel found that the defendant had superficial wounds to the left side of his chest. According to the treating physician, these wounds appeared to be self-inflicted.

The document then provides a breakdown of the fatal injuries to Erika Peters and her two sons.

Pursuant to additional investigation it was determined that the apartment was barricaded from the inside and there was no blood outside of the apartment. Decedent [Erika] Peters was found laying supine in the hallway of the apartment suffering from multiple stab wounds to the chest, face, and head, with defensive wounds to the hands. The juvenile E.P. was observed in the back bathroom laying with his back against the base of the wall next to the toilet, suffering multiple stab wounds to the chest and one large laceration to the right side of [his] head. The second juvenile D.P. was observed at Children's Hospital by detectives R. Cephas and E. Fenton of the Homicide Unit with an apparent stab wound to the back of the neck, head and right ear. Juvenile D.P. was pronounced dead at Children's Hospital by Dr. Kline at 2:40 p.m.

Officers found physical evidence at the scene that appears to tie Mays to the murders.

A knife and a hand-written note were found on the scene. Specifically, the defendant was found in a locked bedroom in the apartment. In that same bedroom, within the defendant's reach, officers observed a large, hunting-style knife with blood on it. The tip of the knife was broken off. The knife was positioned on top of a hand-written note. Only parts of the note were legible, including phrases, 'I'm sorry... I tried to make it work...'

The document goes on to provide information taken from a witness interview. The witness, a relative of the victims, stated the two boys had reported the defendant "would throw them down to the ground, place his knee on the back of their necks, pin their arms behind their backs, and beat them." The witness stated that they had seen the victims with black eyes and that they were terrified of being left alone with Mays.

At 9:59 p.m., an investigator with the medical examiner arrived at Apt. 104 and pronounced Erika Peters and E.P. dead. "All three bodies were transported to the Medical Examiner's office pending autopsies," the document states. All three had been stabbed through the skull.

Decedent Erika Peters had suffered the most stab wounds, with more than one dozen stab wounds to the chest alone. Additionally, a small piece of metal, [consistent] with the tip of a knife, was found embedded in the right rear portion of her skull.

Once Mays was released from the hospital, he was taken to the Homicide Unit where he was read his rights and processed.

Photo courtesy of WJLA-TV

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  • Grumpy

    What a punk...He chose to kill instead of walk away. Coward ass bitch move.

  • The Madness Shop

    I'm pretty sure this wasn't a new apartment building located at 20th and Maryland Avenue NE. More than likely they lived in one of DC's many outdated, never renovated apartment buildings with paper thin walls.

    "Erika, I'm gonna kill you and these fuckin' kids" or "Bitch, you ain't gonna ever leave me," I'm sure was heard a million times by neighbors with the sound of a slap or something breaking to follow.

    I can only wonder how many of Erika's neighbors blew these sounds off as nothing and said, "I wish they shut the fuck up," and then went back to watching American Idol...

  • jayden

    I worked with randy(joseph randolph mays) and erica and knowing her there is nothing i could conceive of her doing that would make him do this to her and her babies. I am shocked and horrified but above all just saddened by this senseless crime i knew that he was a strange dude but this goes beyond strange this is just evil, now we wait to see what spin he tries to put on doing this evil and cowardly act. I cant even think of a harsh enough punishment for him.

  • David Jones

    This was just wrong, that coward should be dealt with the same way he treated them. Those children didn't deserve that and neither did she. Killing is wrong but that guy needs to just end his own life, too bad he was to dumb to do it his self. There should be no trial what goes around comes around DEATH should be his punishment. I say somebody blackout like he did and send him on his way six feet deep!

  • Cee

    Oh he's a bitch ass for that. They should string his ass up from the Washington Monument.

  • Big T

    yo that dude is gangster! He don't play dat shit!

  • MPE

    I also worked with this NUT and believe me he was no joy to work with.I do somehow feel that this could have been avoided because even though I was not trained in matters of the brain I knew that there was issues that could have been solved long before this tragic event occured

  • The Madness Shop

    Jason, any updates, has Mr. Mays been drug tested since his arrest? This behavior sounds very similar to someone on or coming off PCP. And since Mr. Mays worked as a home health aide, did that require that he reguarly underwent drug testing?

    Also, it would be interesting to know if Mr. Mays had been previously under the care of DC government's Department of Mental Health or Addiction Prevention Recovery Administration...both of these agencies share the understaffed-underfunded-too many cases-just let them slip thru the cracks tone that has become the norm of DC government's human services agencies.

  • caring heart

    this is a very sad situation. for the jerk stating that dudue is gangsta shows your ignorance. none the less i had the pleasure of having DAKOTA IN MY CLASS WHEN THIS FAMILY WAS APART OF HOUSE OF RUTH. BOTH KIDS WERE VERY SWEET QUIET. THESE KIDS NOR ERICKA DESERVED WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM. I AM SADDENED AND DEEPLY HURT TO KNOW THAT THIS PSYCHO PATH BASTARD KILLED THOSE KIDS AND THEIR MOM IN COLD BLOOD. I HOPE THAT HE DOESNT MAKE HIS COURT DATE ON MAY 22 AND THAT SOMEONE IN JAIL BEATS AND STAB HIM BEYOND RECOGNITION. GOD WILL HAVE NO MERCY ON HIS SOUL AND HE DESERVES TO ROTT IN HELL. I HOPE HE SUFFERS FEEL HURT AND PAIN AS HE MADE THEM FEEL. THE FAT JERK WAS AFRAID TO STAB HIMSELF BUT DIDNT HAVE A PROBLEM STABBING ERICKA DAKOTA AND ERIC. WELL MR U SHOULD HAVE KILLED YOURSELF BECAUSE PROTECTIVE CUSTODY IS NOT ALWAYS PROTECTED AND ONCE THOSE GUARDS LET THE INMATES KNOW WHAT YOU DID THERE GOES UR LIFE AS IT SHOULD BE TAKEN ANYWAY!

  • caring heart

    THERE WAS A LOT OF TIME THAT WAS LOST BETWEEN THE OFFICER AND DISPATCHER THEN WAITING FOR BACKUP THEN WAITING FOR THE CHIEF TO GIVE PERMISSION TO ENTER THEN WAITING FOR FIRE DEPT TO ASSIST AND OPEN THE DOOR. ACCORDING TO WHAT WAS WRITTEN THE FIRST OFFICER ARRIVED AT 1 IT WAS 1:44 WHEN THEY GOT IN AND DISCOVERED THE BODIES. I JUST BELIEVE THAT SOMETHING COULD HAVVE BEEN DONE. IN PG POLICE AUTOMATICALLY HAVE A RIGHT OF ENTRANCE IF A CHILD CALLS NO WAITING FOR A CHIEF OR PERMISSION AS IT SHOULD BE. MAYBE IF THEY HAD ENTERED SOONER JUST MAYBE LITTLE DAKOTA COULD HAVE LIVED. HE WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT 2:4OPM THOSE POOR BABIES SUFFERED SOOOOO MUCH. IF U KNOW SOMETHING IS GOING ON IN YOUR FAMILY DONT LET CHILDREN STAY IN A SITUATION AS SUCH. U CANT MAKE DECISIONS FOR AN ADULT BUT CHILDREN SHOULD NOT HAVE TO GO THROUGH THAT THEY ARE INNOCENT AND DEFFENSELESS TO HAVE PERSONALLY KNOWN THESE KIDS AND MOM HURTS

  • Former Emp

    That "let it slip through the cracks" shit is real. No one can stop every tragedy, but as a former employee of DC CFSA-I was let go when I wouldnt close a case just so they could get their backlog numbers down. Wake up! Violence is no joke any is enough and never acceptable. Sadly, he probably grew up with similar treatment or witnessed such. It's not an excuse, but it does explain alot when you think about it. Getting help is never a sign of weakness. Their training is xcellent, but implementation lacks real support and legitimate request of time commitment from employees.

  • jayden

    I don't understand why this monster is being charged with a lesser charge of second degree, is a blitz attack and slaughter of a mother and two innocent babies not a first degree murder offense, better yet barring a door to prevent exit or entry does that not smack of premeditation. No one can make me beleive he blacked out and killed Erica, Eric and Dakota and became sane enough not to kill himself or thank god Baby Ashley, and he was sane enough to pretend to be uncounscious. This big coward did not want Erica to escape his domination and her and the babies paid the cost. I hear so many people say why did'nt she leave please don't judge until you have walked in her shoes, i hear why did'nt her family help her, you can only offer you can,t make a person take. In a perfect world the monster would have left or killed himself if the situation was so intolerable, but alas we don't live in a perfect world. Women in a situation like this are some times so down trodden and feel as if they have to stay with the beast, some women feel they can change the beast it never works. I writing to this blog again because i can't get them out of my head, it seems like i will wake up and it would have been a dream, if only it was so.

  • http://CITYDESK GREGORY EASTER

    ERIC PETERS AND DAKOTA PETERS WERE MY FREIND AND WE USE TO PLAY FOOTBALL TOGETHER AND WITH KEONTE SEAN RYAN TAY AND TAY IF THE MAN WAS MAD HE SHOULD HAVE JUST WALKED OUT THE HOUSE I HOPE HE GET THE ELETRIC CHAIR MY NAME IS GREGORY EASTER AND I AM 12 YEARS OLD

  • Marcus

    i say he should be thrown in a pool full sharks and if thats not a option i say they should torture him by stabing him up like he did eric and her two little sons he shall pay in lots and lots of pain like he caused eric and her two sons my nae is marcus and im 13

  • Marcus

    he is a cruel man and should suffer from pain he caused many people but i guess he is so cruel that he does not even care for what he did he should be majorly punished

  • Lana Lopez

    I am just wondering about both Dakota and Eric's interactions with their teachers. Children spend most of their time in school and parents spend most of their time at work. Did the teacher ignore the signs? Even though they may not have verbalized their pain,it had to be written all over their face. Once again another situation where people did not do what they should have and could have done to help this family.
    My son is 10 years old. He played football with Dakota and I asked him, "What type of boy was Dakota?" He said, "Quiet." He told me that he would ask Dakota, "What's wrong?" Dakota would say, "Nothing." Even my 10 year old son had an intuition that something was wrong.
    I sat on that football field and talked to that crazy piece of shit on several occasasions before I realized that the elevator was not going all the way up. I wish that I could be the Judge for one day I would torture him and let him feel what Erika, Eric and Dakota felt. I would then fry his coward ass.

  • Michiyo

    I used to work with Randy and Erica. She was one of the nicest person that I knew. He was a certified nut. Always complaining about everything. I wish someone would have responded more aggressively to their cries of abuse by Randy. The sadest part of it all is this little girl will have to learn about what happened later in her life. I hope that she has a strong and loving support system.

  • Jason Cherkis

    Last week I published a cover story on the case. You can check it out here:

    http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/display.php?id=36971

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