A Germantown man who is charged with first degree murder in connection with the shooting death of a transgender women in Montgomery Village was ordered held without bond Monday morning in a Rockville courtroom.
On Saturday, Oct. 17, Rico Hector Leblond, 20, of Wisteria Drive in Germantown, was arrested Saturday in connection with the murder of a transgender women named DeAndre Smith, who goes by the name Zella Ziona, which police say, took place in an alleyway in Montgomery Village on Thursday, Oct. 15.
Leblond is listed as living at 12774 Wisteria Drive, however that address is the Germantown Post Office and there are no residences on the 12700 block of Wisteria Drive. Police sources say that Leblond was a bit of drifter sleeping with friends or wherever he could find a bed. He has no permanent address.
Police believe that Leblond, who has a criminal history, and Ziona, who was open and public with her sexuality, had some sort of friendship, but Leblond had recently been embarrassed while at the Lakeforest Mall with friends.
According to charging documents, Ziona and Leblond had been “engaged in a simmering dispute that had been escalating.” Police said that, Ziona and Leblond “had some sort of friendship and that information had now become public. Leblond was very upset with Smith when this information came to light. In the recent past, Leblond was with his crew at Lakeforest Mall, when Smith (Ziona) approached his group and began acting flamboyantly towards Leblond and greatly embarrassed Leblond in front of his peers.”
The charging documents state that detectives believe that Ziona was lured to the alley where Leblond was waiting to ambush her. Police were called to the LakeForest Transit Center which is across Lost Knife Road from where the shooting took place, for a report of three to five black males fighting with a stick and knife. “Detectives believe that Smith (Ziona) was assaulted by a subject with a stick at that time. This event may have served as a precursor to lure Smith into the alleyway to fight,” said court documents.
The court documents said, Leblond was waiting behind a dumpster in the alley. A witness said Leblond was wearing a blue jacket with the hood pulled up and wearing a monster mask around the lower part of his face, however the witness could identify him because of his distinguishable dreads and that he was wearing the same clothing when Ziona and the witness had seen Lebond a few hours prior.
According to the charging documents, witnesses told police that after initially shooting Ziona, Leblond walked over to her, stood over her, and fire more rounds into her body. Ziona suffered gunshot wounds to her head and groin area.
Leblond, who has a lengthy criminal history, was arrested in August on disorderly conduct charges and again last month on criminal trespassing charges. In July, Leblond was arrested for theft, and possession of burglary tools.
News4 Washington is also reporting that Leblond was arrested for attempted murder in 2013, but the charges were later dropped.
Leblond is scheduled to be in court again on Nov. 13 for a preliminary hearing.
Photo courtesey MCPD.