Hundreds remember slain UMd. student

Hundreds of friends gathered Thursday night on the University of Maryland campus to remember a promising student who was found murdered earlier this month.

1 Comment

Photo: ABC7

They came to memorialize 22-year-old Justin DeSha-Overcash, who was double-majoring in physics and astronomy. The university announced it would award DeSha-Overcash an astronomy degree and present it to his family.

“He truly wanted to help people from his heart,” said Mayokun Odukale, the victim’s close friend. “If everyone could live like that the world would be a better place.

Prince George’s County police said DeSha-Overcash was slain Jan. 11 in a robbery at his off-campus house. Police found marijuana and a digital scale and initially said the slaying was connected to drug dealing.

DeSha-Overcash’s mother, however, disputed that her son was a drug dealer. Besides double majoring, her son was on his way to earning a double minor in geophysics and math. He also tutored athletes, said Karen DeSha.

By many accounts, Desha-Overcash was exceptional. When he was 6 years old, he told his parents he wanted to be a physicist. Twelve years later, he entered the University of Maryland majoring in both physics and astronomy.

Justin’s mother said the family had fallen on hard times recently. She said she lost her job, so DeSha-Overcash worked two jobs to pay his way through school.

“My heart's pounding, I'm shaking, and my brain is racing,” DeSha said.

Friends and family said DeSha-Overcash always reached out to others, no matter their race, gender or ethnicity.

While friends say they’ll miss seeing him, they say that in their hearts, he never left them.

“Little things remind me of him,” said friend Will Wade. “The stars. The stars remind me of him.

1 Comment