Family and friends of a St. Paul woman who police say was killed by her boyfriend crammed a Ramsey County courtroom Tuesday afternoon in a show of solidarity.
Samirria White, 19, was found dead around 3:40 a.m. Easter morning in the bedroom of her apartment in the 800 block of Pierce Butler Route.
Dimitri D. Harrell, 21, White’s boyfriend and the father of her 3-month-old daughter, was charged this week with second-degree murder.
At his first appearance Tuesday at the Law Enforcement Center, Harrell, wearing a jail-orange jumpsuit, didn’t seem to acknowledge the courtroom full of White’s supporters, some wearing T-shirts printed with photos of her.
During the hearing before Judge Patrick Diamond, Harrell’s bail was set at $200,000. The court also determined that Harrell qualified for a public defender. An omnibus hearing in the case is scheduled for May 5.
After the hearing, White’s mother, Shanta, expressed her feeling that the bail was too low.
“I told them that bail wasn’t jack,” Shanta White said as she left the courtroom flanked by family and friends.
White said that her daughter was an “uplifting” and “helpful” person who enjoyed basketball, track and cheerleading when she was in high school. She was also involved in the Junior ROTC, White said.
According to the criminal complaint, family and others who were in the apartment at the time White was killed told authorities that she had been arguing with Harrell when they heard a gunshot from the bedroom.
After Harrell turned himself in to police, he said that he accidentally shot White when he tried to pull his handgun from his pocket while holding their baby.
On Tuesday, the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women recognized White as the fifth known victim of domestic violence homicide in the state so far this year.