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Suspect accused of allegedly shooting girlfriend dead in ‘premeditated, heinous act of violence,’ officials say

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Jan. 11 2022, Published 4:15 p.m. ET

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A man is accused of the execution-style murder of his girlfriend on a secluded waterfront walking trail in Pennsylvania, prosecutors said.

According to Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer, on Oct. 6, 2020, Naima Ishmail, 25, and her boyfriend, Champion Hough, also 25, planned to go for a walk in Chester, Pennsylvania.

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“On the night of her murder, and clearly unaware of what was to come, the victim drove to the defendant’s home and picked him up” in a Chrysler, Stollsteimer said. “From there, she drove to the riverfront spot where he promptly executed her. This was a premeditated, heinous act of violence.”

The following morning, a woman discovered the victim’s body on the walking trail shortly before 7 a.m. and phoned police, an affidavit obtained by the Delco Daily Times states.

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Delaware County Medical Examiner Dr. Bennett Preston determined Ishmael’s death was a homicide caused by a gunshot wound to the head. Soot deposits, he concluded, showed she was shot at close range.

The day of the murder, the witness — who told detectives Ishmail formerly dated Hough and the two still saw each other — made plans with Ishmail but Ishmail canceled.

Surveillance video allegedly shows the victim picking Hough up at a house around 8:15 the night she was murdered, the affidavit states. Text messages also allegedly showed the two were in contact not long before the victim's death.

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According to the affidavit, investigators allegedly found gunshot residue in Ismail’s Chrysler, which was located away from where Ishamil's body was found. On Jan. 6, 2022, an arrest warrant was issued after forensic test results also allegedly showed Hough’s DNA was present in the victim’s vehicle.

“The arrest of the defendant is the result of painstaking and thorough police work, combined with critical witness cooperation,” Stollsteimer said. “By utilizing all the tools available to us – including video surveillance, an analysis of text messages, DNA evidence, gunshot residue analysis – we are able to state confidently that we have charged the right individual with this young woman’s brutal murder.”

Hough was charged with first-, second-, and third-degree murder, and car theft, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

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