District Woman Indicted For First-Degree Murder While Armed In March 2013 Slaying Of Her Husband-Shooting Took Place At Couple’s Apartment-
WASHINGTON - Diana Lalchan, 28, of Washington, D.C., has been indicted on charges of first-degree murder while armed and possession of a firearm during a crime of violence for the slaying earlier this year of her husband, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced today.
A grand jury returned the indictment on Nov. 21, 2013 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Lalchan pled not guilty to the charges at her arraignment today. The Honorable Ronna L. Beck has set a trial date of March 3, 2014. If convicted, Lalchan faces a potential sentence of life in prison.
According to the government’s evidence, on March 28, 2013, at approximately 12:05 a.m., Lalchan called 911 and reported that she had just shot her husband inside their apartment in the 1200 block of Fourth Street SW. The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) responded to the scene and found her inside the apartment, holding a cell phone. Police found her husband, Christopher Lalchan, 36, lying on the floor, unconscious and unresponsive. Mr. Lalchan was suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the back of the head. The defendant was placed under arrest. A search of the residence revealed a semi-automatic handgun and three shell casings on the floor.
Lalchan had been married to Mr. Lalchan since October of 2008. After the shooting, Lalchan told police that her husband had asked her to come home on the evening of March 27, 2013, so that the two could have a meeting regarding their marriage. After having dinner, Lalchan said that an argument ensued that escalated and de-escalated for several hours. Ultimately, according to the government’s evidence, she fired three shots at Mr. Lalchan. According to the forensic evidence, the first shot was fired into the kitchen. The second shot was fired into the back of Mr. Lalchan’s head. A third shot was fired next to his head.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.
In announcing the indictment, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of the MPD detectives and officers who investigated the case. He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Kelly Blakeney and Mia Beamon; Criminal Investigators Nelson Rhone, John Marsh, and Tommy Miller; Victim/Witness Advocates Tamara Ince and Marcia Rinker, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Wright, who is prosecuting the matter.