Real Life Somerville Police Stories: Two Convicted in Connection with 2015 Burlington Hotel Murder

WOBURN – Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Burlington Chief of Police Michael Kent have announced that Derrell Fisher, 23, of, Roxbury, and Epshod Jeune, 27, of Burlington, were found guilty today by a Middlesex Superior Court Jury of murder in connection with the fatal shooting death of Sanisha Johnson, 34, of the Bronx, New York, at the Extended Stay America Hotel in Burlington on July 2, 2015. Epshod Jeune was also found guilty of armed robbery, armed assault in a dwelling, armed home invasion, possession of a firearm without a license and attempting to commit a crime and Derrell Fisher was found guilty of unarmed robbery and attempting to commit a crime in connection with a robbery at the Woburn Red Roof Inn that took place on the evening of July 1 into the morning of July 2, 2015 prior to the Burlington murder.

Judge Bruce Henry scheduled sentencing for November 30 at 9:00 a.m.

“The defendants in this case created an elaborate scheme to systematically contact women through a website offering adult services, and then arrange to meet and rob them at gunpoint,” said District Attorney Ryan. “After robbing a woman at a hotel in Woburn the defendants quickly moved on to a hotel in Burlington to continue their crime spree. These women were specifically targeted because of their profession and the belief that they would be unwilling to report the armed robberies. The defendants’ greed led to their shooting and killing Sanisha Johnson in her own hotel room.”

Chief Kent added, “Today’s conviction is the direct result of the hard work and dedication of officers from the Burlington Police Department, Massachusetts State Police and the prosecutors of the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office. Each day law enforcement and prosecutors work together to ensure that those who compromise the safety of members of our communities are made to answer for the harm that is inflicted upon others. It is my sincerest hope that this verdict brings closure to the family and loved ones of Sanisha Johnson.”

On July 2, 2015, at approximately 12:30 a.m., Burlington Police received a 911 call from the Extended Stay America Hotel on South Avenue in Burlington reporting shots fired at the hotel. Upon arrival authorities learned that at approximately 12:20 a.m. individuals staying at the hotel had called the front desk to report that they had heard a woman’s scream and what they believed to be a gunshot coming from a room on the first floor.

Burlington Police conducted a well-being check on hotel guests on the first floor. Upon arrival at the victim’s room, Burlington Police discovered the victim, Sanisha Johnson, deceased. The victim died from a single gunshot wound to the chest.

Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and Burlington Police immediately began an investigation.

After watching the July 2, 2015 news reports of the Burlington homicide, a woman contacted authorities stating that she believed she was a victim of an armed robbery perpetrated by the defendants at a hotel in Woburn on July 1, 2015 at approximately 11:58 p.m. During the course of the investigation, police located her credit cards and identification in the defendants’ possession. The Woburn victim’s wallet was also found in the parking lot of the Burlington Extended Stay.

Through their investigation authorities learned that the defendants arranged to meet the victims through a website that advertises adult services. One of the defendants would knock on the hotel room door. When the victim opened the door, the other defendant would emerge. The two would then rob the victim at gunpoint. When police executed a warrant on the defendants’ phones they would learn that a third female, who had been staying at a hotel in Saugus, had been in contact with one of the defendants. When the defendant arrived at the woman’s hotel room at approximately 11:30 p.m. on July 1, the female declined to let him in. Shortly thereafter, the defendants committed the Woburn robbery.

The defendants were located in Winchester on July 3 and arraigned on July 6.

This case was investigated by the Burlington Police Department, the Woburn Police Department and Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office.

The prosecutors assigned to this case were Chief of Homicide Adrienne Lynch and Assistant District Attorney Graham Van Epps. The Victim Witness Advocate was Danielle DeMeo.

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