zella ziona

August 7, 2020 | Samantha Subin

Germantown Man Pleads Guilty to 2015 Murder of Transgender Woman

A Germantown man has pleaded guilty to the 2015 killing of a transgender woman. The plea comes nearly five years after Deandre Smith, 21, who had been living as Zella Ziona, was shot in the head in an alleyway in Gaithersburg. Rico LeBlond, 25, was twice charged in connection with the shooting. In the first […]

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July 25, 2017 | Douglas Tallman

Germantown Man Guilty of Murder

A 22-year-old Germantown man was found guilty of first-degree murder Tuesday in the October 2015 death of a transgender woman, the State’s Attorney’s Office said. Rico Leblond will be sentenced on Oct. 19 where he will face the penalty of life in prison. The victim, Deandre Smith, 21, was living as Zella Ziona. She was found […]

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May 2, 2017 | Mitti Hicks

Police Chief Tom Manger Says Hate Crimes Increased by 32 Percent

After the second bomb threat was made to the Bender Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, the U.S. Department of Justice reached out to staff to see how they could be of assistance. “I said ‘well  I think it would be great if we could have a program that would educate our community and bring […]

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October 18, 2015 | Staff Writer

Police Charge Germantown Man with Murder

Montgomery County police officers have charged 20-year-old Rico Hector Leblond of Germantown with first degree murder. A bond hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Monday. Leblond is charged  by police with the Oct. 15th death of Zella Ziona, a transgender woman, also known as DeAndre Smith. Police said Ziona was shot multiple times in […]

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October 15, 2015 | Sonya Burke

UPDATED: Police Continue to Investigate Fatal Shooting of 21-Year-Old

UPDATED Oct. 16, 5:11 p.m. Homicide detectives with the Montgomery County Police Department continue to investigate the fatal shooting that occurred at a Montgomery Village shopping center on October 15. Police are now identifying the victim as a transgender female who identified herself as Zella Ziona. “This is a horrific crime and a tragedy for […]

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