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The Senseless Murder of Mikarah Sanders

January 8, 2010

First published January 6, 2010

Republished January 8, 2010

For the family of 17 15 year old Mikarah Sanders, New Years Eve will never be the same.

This young woman was gunned down December 31st, allegedly by her boyfriend Matthew DaWayne DuBois, 16 years old.

You may have not heard too many details about this case, for a few reasons, but namely because both parties were minors, and news media doesn’t release the name of minor victims of violent crime until either a family member does, or the victim is identified in public documents.  Mikarah was identified as of January 5th by the King County Prosecutor’s office in the charging documents (which are public record, a copy can be found at the bottom right of this site) filed against her alleged killer.

Likewise the media does not use the names of juveniles accused of a crime until or unless they are officially charged.  Mikarah’s alleged killer, DuBois was charged today, and as an adult.

Initial reports that night showed that both DuBois and Sanders were shot by an unnamed Black male suspect who fled the scene.

Within hours though, investigators said they were not looking for a mystery gunman, that they believed DuBois had shot Sanders before shooting himself.

Murder/suicide?

A bit more complicated than that.

According to the charging documents from the King County prosecutor’s office, the young couple got into an argument over a comment posted on Mikarah’s myspace page by an ex-boyfriend. The argument turned physical, with pushing and shoving between the two, before DuBois [allegedly] pulled out a hand gun and pointed it in Mikarah’s face- then fired.

A witness in the apartment rushed into the room and says she found DuBois on top of Mikarah, asking her if she was okay.  Mikarah was not moving.  She’d been shot once in the face from less than 1 foot away.

The witness went to a room across the hall.  Shortly thereafter DuBois went across the hall as well, and the witness watched as he shot himself in the shoulder and ordered the witness to say someone had come into the home and shot Mikarah.  The witness agreed and in fact did tell authorities that someone else had come into the home and fled on foot.

Police found Mikarah on the bottom bed of a bunk bed set, partially face down, completely unresponsive.  She died a few hours later at Harborview, probably while you and I were still celebrating the New Year without a care.

Reading through the documents, there are many upsetting details that I take issue with (and will probably write about later).  But none greater than the details of the suspect, Matthew DuBois.

At the tender age of 16 DuBois was an experienced criminal with more than seven convictions under his belt, 3 of which were felonies.  From unlawful possession of a fire arm, to residential burglary to tampering with a witness.  He is also facing assault charges for a previous case in Juvenile court.

Due to the nature of his crime, his efforts to throw investigators from the truth by shooting himself and lying in his statement, on top of his criminal record, led prosecutors to seek bail in the amount of 1 million dollars and rightfully so.

But in the nine page document there are 2 sentences which changed my entire perception of this girl’s death:

“On November 13, 2009, a Judge found that the defendant was a “threat to community safety” and detained him in the Alder facility.  The court then authorized Electronic Home Monitoring, which the defendant was on at the time he committed the murder.”

Go ahead and let that sink in.

This young man was identified by the court system as a threat to community safety- he was locked up because of it…and then he was let out.

What kind of a system deems a person a threat to other people and then lets them out of jail?!

I suppose it’s just a coincidence that just over a month later, this threat to community murdered another person.

I suppose someone will say that no one can predict the future and the system should not be blamed for this girl’s death.

I disagree- I disagree loudly.

This girl is dead because this young man was, for all purposes- set free.

An ankle bracelet did nothing to protect you, me, or Mikarah.  It certainly didn’t prevent young Mr. DuBois from getting a gun and the necessary ammunition- something it seems he can do rather easily, as he’s been caught possessing fire arms illegally in the past.

In the past few months we’ve seen the horrific murders of 7 law enforcement officers.  In at least 1 of those cases, the Lakewood shooting, we were all outraged to find out a repeat felon facing charges of child rape had been released on bail pending further action.  We all readily accept it as a systemic failure that should not be allowed to happen again.  State Legislators will introduce potential laws in the 2010 session which seek to eradicate the loophole the shooter, Maurice Clemons, was able to hop through.

What about Matthew DuBois?

Why was this young man let out of jail and what can be done to prevent such egregious decisions from being made in the future?

Mikarah Sanders was gunned down in the 34th LD.  I hope Reps. Cody and Nelson are paying attention and charting a course of action.

None of us should sit idle on this one.  None of us.


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12 Comments leave one →
  1. baroness permalink
    January 6, 2010 8:56 am

    There’s just no arguing with your logic—there clearly aren’t enough young, black males incarcerated indefinitely in this country because they’re determined to be a “threat.” Since you’re not going to sit idle, I’m sure you’ll start a census of all the young, black males you deem to be a threat to community safety, then lobby for another maximum security facility to hold them all forever, since they clearly shouldn’t ever be let out. Good luck with that.

  2. Olivia Courting permalink
    January 6, 2010 9:15 am

    To the “baroness”,

    I can see why you use a small “b” in your name- because to actually give you the title of Baroness would be a crime against all the other Baronesses in the world. You, my dear, are ignorant beyond belief.

    It is completely pathetic how you twist the words of the author to make yourself feel better. I bet you’re one of those Black people who makes excuses for fucked up criminals JUST BECAUSE THEY’RE BLACK.

    Yea I said it. YOU ARE WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR PEOPLE today.

    Did you not read the documents? Do you not understand that this little punks ass boy was a threat to society AND THAT INCLUDES THE GIRL HE MURDERED.

    Sable doesn’t say that he should have been locked up for life. Sable didn’t declare him a danger to society, THE COURT SYSTEM DID- AND CLEARLY THEY WERE RIGHT. Sable says why the hell was he out when he was JUST DECLARED A DANGER TO SOCIETY?

    Oh, so we’re supposed to give him a pass because he’s BLACK?! Black killers are safer than other killers? I bet you probably think it’s okay that the other witness in the house LIED TO LAW ENFORCEMENT to throw them off.

    That doesn’t make you a “baroness” little girl, that makes you an honorary member of Maurice Clemmon’s gutter ass family.

  3. blasterman permalink
    January 6, 2010 9:50 am

    Actually, he should have been executed by responding officers.

    The courts are simply too soft on criminals, especially so-called “African-Americans” (Ha! they’re not even citizens, check the U.S. Constitution, article one).

    Indeed, its time to pass a “one strike” law and to expand the death penalty to include domestic violence, trespassing, and simple assault. This crime has all three elements.

    We need to bring the troops home to take care of these sub-human savages! Kill them all or send them back to Africa!

  4. WEST SiDE iS DA BEST SiDE permalink
    January 6, 2010 10:22 am

    i DONT THiNK MATTHEW DiD THAT 2 THAT GiRL. NOT AT ALL FROM WAT i HEAR THAT LiL GiRL iS LiAN AND COVERiNG 4 SUMONE. AND THEy HEARD EVERyTHiNG THAT HAPPENED. MiKARAH WAS A FRiEND OF MiNES AND MATTHEW AS My LiL COUSiN. i KNOW HiM HE iS AS SOFT AS A TEDDy BEAR HE HAS MORE RESPECT FOR FEMALES THAN MOST OF HiS FAMiLy. AND HE WAS SHOT iN THE RiGHT ARM HE iS RiGHT HANDED. AND THE GiRL DiD SAy SUMONE WAS iN THE HOME WEN iT HAPPENED WERE iS THAT PERSON NOW?. NOBODy KNOWS. MATTHEW DuBOiS iS NOT A “BART”. AND WHy WOULD HE SHOOT HiMSELF HE LOVES HiMSELF MORE THAN ANyTHiNG. i DONT THiNK THE POLiCE DiD A GOOD iNVESTiGATiON. OR THE COURT SySTEM CAUSE My COUSiN MARKASHA WASNT SERVE THE RiGHT JUSTiCE FOR HER MURDER. ALL THE POLiCE GOTTA DO iS QUESTiON AND POLyGRAPH THE BOy AND THEy WiLL SEE WHO iS LiAN. AND WHATS UP WiTH ALL THESE POLiCE DiEiNG THEy NEEDA LEAVE PEOPLE ALONE SOME ARE COOL BUT MOST ARE ASSHOLES. THE MEDiA GOT SHiT TWiSTED!

  5. Solidarity Sister permalink
    January 6, 2010 10:36 am

    Oh look, the ghetto crew has showed up, let’s all rejoice in the knowledge and jewels this little thug “west side” is droppin’ for us.

    Moron. First of all, learn to type. No one will EVER respect a WORD you have to say if you can’t type it like a normal, educated person who respects themselves and anyone else who reads what you write.

    Personally I didn’t read the whole thing, because reading ghetto typing gives me a headache, but also because it is VERY clear early on that you’re so far off your facts you don’t know what to do with yourself.

    DuBios is a murderer. He shot and killed a person. He is a killer, point blank (no pun). Did he “mean” to shoot her? I don’t know. I read the same documents Sable read and I’m inclined to agree that he may not have intended to shoot her. If that’s the case, it doesn’t excuse the fact that he pointed a gun in her face.

    All responsible gun owners will tell you, you don’t draw a gun, you certianly don’t point it at someone, unless you intend to shoot. Not only did he shoot her, but he went above and beyond in trying to cover up his crime. He shot himself for god’s sake, all in front of a witness.

    Why would the witness lie about what she heard and what she saw? What gain does she get from that?

    No, ignorant west sider, the media doesn’t have shit twisted, you do.

  6. Concerned permalink
    January 6, 2010 12:26 pm

    I’m concerned. I’m concerned that the adults are not doing enough to step in and direct these young people’s lives. I know there are some who do, and who mean well, but I question how consistent we are as a community.

    Teens experience domestic violence more than we would like to think they do. Girls probably have it worse, but boys are on the receiving end too.

    There’s such a lack of respect betwen our young men and our young women. We’ve failed to teach them by example, how to interract with each other; that being “hard” isn’t being a man; that love does not throw punches; that “bitch” is not an acceptable term for a female, OR a male; that it’s okay, as black people, to have respectable, loving, nurturing relationships with the opposite sex, just like it’s okay to seapk proper english, sit at the front of the bus, parent our children and just plain be happy and fulfilled.

  7. Concerned Parent permalink
    January 7, 2010 12:23 am

    My condolences to the families that are dealing with these situations – NOBODY wins here. I pray god gives you strenght.

    I could not agree more with what Concerned said – The first thing I did when I read this article was I googled the ladies myspace page.

    Pictures of the young girl saying things like FREE my man; THUG LOVE; etc…and then you see pictures of the young man portraying to be as if he is hard.

    Parents – if your child is on a social site, you should be on there too and be their friend – monitor this so you can learn about what you need to talk to your children about – there are many websites that you can google to learn how to approach such issues. There are many things you will become aware of, that maybe you just didn’t realize – It’s time for this talk.

    Issues such as peer pressure, drugs, gangs, domestic violence, insecurities, life, crime, clubs, dating, friends, associates….these are things that our youth are going through and we should be speaking to them about it.

    There are standards we should be instilling in our kids when they are in a partnership; whether it’s school friends, boy friend/girl friend…..these are things to look for in a person; these are red flags therefore means run. Etc.
    Sable – please write a blog that address teens and this trend of looking for the guy that’s thuggish….or a thread for the young men that address it’s not a good look and why and what it means….

    It takes a village. Thank you for writing this.

  8. Lady Factor permalink
    January 7, 2010 7:45 pm

    I Just Have Something To Say To Like The First Couple Comments. I Think There Is No Need To Argue Thats Exacly Why Things Like This Go Down. I Think Matthew Didnt Intend To Shoot Her But It Happened. As A Young Man A Maninsh Young Man At That He May Do Things Like That, Hes Wrong For It And Should Have Consequences For It. But All That Unnecessary Comments About Ghetto Typing Isn’t Caused For. Because There Aint Such Thing Bout Ghetto Typing. Its Called Being Creative And Your Own Kind Of Typing Boo. To The Female Olivia Courting Are You Feeling Special Calling Someone Out About There Name. Your Talking Bout (Whomever The Person Above You] Making Excuses For Black Men That Are Criminals. Okay Hun I Want To Tell You Something Not All Of The BLACK CRIMINALS According To You Are Criminals, Some Are Innocent. Some Of Us Get Blamed For Some Crap We Have Nothing To Do With. A Group Of Friends And I Got Stopped By The Police Because We Were Black Teenagers. And To The One Who Said We Arent Form The Us. Clearly You Aint Either. If You Arent Native American Shut Up BecauseYou A Minority Too BooBoo.

    Rest Easy Mikarah Sanders &+’dd Dorian Tursic
    Families Are In My Prayers

  9. Olivia Courting permalink
    January 7, 2010 11:01 pm

    SMH-

    I see another one has joined the ranks, right, “boo boo?” Triflingly ghetto.

    Here’s a question for all the “he didn’t do it” crowd, have you READ the documents? If you can read above a 2nd grade level, I suggest you use the copy Sable posted (ifyou can find it), and start reading. Use dictionary.com for the big words if you need to.

    If there is one thing I hate above all else, it’s Black people that make excuses for unexcuseable behavior by OTHER Black folks.

    Her typing is creative and unique? No it’s not, it’s obnoxious to those of us who understand acceptable typing. Do you ever know what that is?

    Ohhhh, you dont. That’s Why Your Ignorant Ass Capitalizes Every Word In Every Sentence Instead Of Just The First Word Or Proper Nouns. Let me guess, you’re just trying to be one of a kind, right? No honey. Just because you say it doesn’t make it so.

    Make all the sorry ass excuses you want; you’re still going to be ignorant and Matthew DuBois IS STILL GOING TO BE A MURDERER- “boo boo”.

    Perhaps you should have gone to Mikarah’s memorial yesterday. Perhaps you should go to her funeral- it’s tomorrow, so you have time to go get your weave tightened if you want. Please don’t come dressed for the club.

    You would excuse a murderer. You would excuse a man- no matter how young- who disrespects women by putting his hands on them.

    I’m just waiting for you to start talking that BS you people talk- you know, where you blame the victim or suggest she deserved or caused what happened to her. Unless she picked that gun up and shot herself in the head- no bueno.

  10. dont trip permalink
    January 12, 2010 2:18 pm

    all you guys are stupidd , first off he shot her , he admitted it & hes going to jail. WESTSIDE if that was your FRIEND and hes your lil cousin why would you cover for him. why would the girl lie. i have family memebers who do stupid shit & i grill them. not condone them. wow. its 010 & how many people have you lost? me ? 4 . my brother chezararay, pete, soup & dorian. and the pain is unbearble. i dont care who he is to you. hes a murderer & he should be punished. you better pray you dont loose no more while your stickin up for him. what if it was somebody that was hella close to you? then what would you do. oh wow. your a fool.

    STOP THE KILLING
    im done with funeral.
    rip to my fallen soldiers……….

  11. dont trip permalink
    January 12, 2010 2:26 pm

    sorry for missed spelling.
    im done with funerals
    RIP CHEZ , PIERRE, DAQUAIN, DORIAN.

    ILOVE YOU GUYS DEEPLY.

    Its crazy how people can give justice to complete criminals. that is not cute. especially when shit starts getting deep like DEATH. . .

    ps, never put your hand on a women

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  1. The Senseless Murder of Mikarah Sanders | FreshXpress.:.The PULSE of Young Black America

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