Boyfriend charged with murder in hotel death


Police said Diamond Harper and her boyfriend, Darrell Dewayne Smith, checked into a room at the Hyatt North Houston on North Sam Houston Parkway East near Imperial Valley Drive on November 1.

Hotel staff told police they saw the couple arguing that evening, and then Smith checked out alone early the next morning.

When staff went to clean the room, they spotted Harper lying on the floor. According to court documents, she was nude from the waist down and was covered with pillows.

When her body was turned, they reportedly found a cloth belt tied around her neck, bruising on her head and "a tube of bonding paste for weaves severely forced into her mouth," the affidavit states.

Houston police interviewed hotel staff and a guest in a neighboring room. Staff was able to identify Smith by the driver's license he showed to clerks when he checked in and out of the hotel.

Detectives then interviewed Smith. According to police, he said no one else was in the room with them that night. He also reportedly told investigators he left Harper asleep in the room when he checked out.

A medical examiner ruled the cause of death a homicide from strangulation, suffocation and blunt trauma, officials said.

Smith, 22, was charged Sunday with murder and bail was set at $50,000. As of Monday afternoon, he had not been arrested.

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