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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 28, 2019

District Woman Found Guilty In March 2013 Slaying of Her Husband

Shooting Took Place at Couple's Apartment

            WASHINGTON - Diana Lalchan, 33, of Washington, D.C., was convicted today of Voluntary Manslaughter while Armed and Possession of a Firearm During a Crime of Violence in the 2013 slaying of her husband, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            The verdict followed a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Honorable Ronna L. Beck scheduled sentencing for June 14, 2019, and held Lalchan without bond pending the sentencing hearing.

            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 next to Mr. Lalchan’s head. A third shot was fired into the back of his head. The defendant claimed to be a victim of domestic abuse and said that she acted in self-defense. 

            In announcing the verdict, U.S. Attorney Liu and Chief Newsham commended the work of the MPD detectives and officers who investigated the case. U.S. Attorney Liu also thanked Paralegal Specialists Stephanie Gilbert, Kelly Blakeney, Stephanie Siegerist, Alesha Matthews, Meredith McGarrity, and Sharon Newman; Criminal Investigators Nelson Rhone, John Marsh, Tommy Miller, Sharon Johnson, and Zachary McMenamin; U.S. Secret Service Special Agents Steven Baskerville and Ian McIntyre; Litigation Technology Specialists Leif Hickling, Kimberly Smith, William Henderson, Thomas (Ron) Royal, and Paul Howell; Victim/Witness Coordinators Katina Adams-Washington and LaJune Thames; Supply Supervisor Nathan Hawkins; student intern Phillip Green; Victim Advocate Marcia Rinker; and Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Wright, who prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 
19-39
Updated April 1, 2019