Investigation Reports. Buffalo, New York. A young woman was found brutally murdered in her home. It was a vicious attack with multiple stab wounds upon her body. Lackawanna Police Detectives were on a mission to find her killer.
On February 16, 2014, Tequila Suter’s friend came by her home in Lackawanna, New York, to pick her up for church. However, there was no answer, which was unusual. So, the friend called her brother, who was also the supervisor of the building, to check on her. After gaining entry and inspecting the inside, he discovered a horrific scene and called 911. He told the dispatcher that Tequila was lying on the floor and that there was blood everywhere.
At the time of the incident, 26-year-old Tequila Suter was pursuing a degree in criminal justice and psychology. Not only that, she had been mentoring younger people through their lives as well.
Tequila was described as having a glowing spirit and was always making people smile and laugh.
Lackawanna Police Detectives found Tequila lying face down in a pool of blood in her bedroom. The pool of blood had dried, but it was apparent that Tequila had been stabbed multiple times. Police officers determined that she couldn’t have been killed in the bedroom. Observing the body and the amount of wounds, there should be more blood.
Crime scene investigators did a luminol test, and the place lit up. There were signs that someone had tried to clean up the crime scene at the apartment. There was a lot of blood in the bathroom, all over the tub, floor, and walls. The killer had attempted to clean up the bloody scene before fleeing.
A few days earlier, Tequila had contacted the Lackawanna Police Department around 3:30 pm. She spoke to Detective Rodney Pietras and reported suspicious transactions on her debit bank card. Detective Pietras told Tequila he would check out the transactions the following Monday.
While everything else seemed in place, Tequila’s phone was missing.
Her autopsy revealed that she was stabbed 39 times in the neck area.
The police canvassed the area for witnesses and surveillance cameras. There was a health center next to the apartment; however, the video angle didn’t show Tequila’s front door. It was a dead end.
As investigators began to take a closer look at the people in her life. It doesn’t take them long to find her killer.
The police talked to family, friends, and other people in her life to gain insight into what might have happened. At the time, Tequila had been dating Damoni Hall, so they brought him in for questioning. Damoni was described as church-going and appeared normal and polite. Damoni told the police that he had been at church when he learned of Tequila’s death.
Damoni said he had just been with her the previous afternoon and left around 5:00 pm. He said that he and Tequila had been fighting and were on the verge of a breakup. Damoni told her that he would be back the next day to grab the rest of his things. He said Tequila was talking on her white Samsung Galaxy phone when he left.
The police asked Damoni where he went after leaving Tequila’s. Damoni said he went to the Trade Mart store, called a friend to get a ride to the bus station, and then went to his friend Latifa’s home, where he spent the night. Damoni also mentioned that they exchanged messages regarding the fight later in the evening.
After Damoni left the police station, the police began searching for video surveillance. They obtained the surveillance footage from several places Damoni said he had been.
Damoni can be seen walking into the Trade Mart store wearing a dark-colored jacket and hat. He was carrying a black backpack and a white plastic bag. He appeared calm and was seen talking to other people in the store. He purchased his items and left.
The police obtained the surveillance footage from the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. It had eight cameras; some were on the inside, and some on the outside. Surveillance footage from the bus was examined to corroborate Damoni’s story.
Damoni was seen on the bus. He appeared normal, but at certain points, he pulled the white plastic bag towards him. He was seen texting on his black cell phone. Damoni got off the bus in the area he said he had been in. He then walked a block to his friend Latifa’s home.
The police spoke to Damoni’s friend Latifa and her cousin, who had also been at the home. They corroborated Damoni’s story and said he left at noon on Sunday. The police asked Latifa if Damoni had been carrying a white plastic bag. Latifa said no, Damoni had a black backpack and two cellphones. One phone was white, and one was black. The cousin’s story was the same. However, surveillance footage showed Damoni with the white plastic bag when he got off the bus.
Damoni was brought in for a second interview. He insisted he had nothing to do with the crime. He was confronted about the cell phone and plastic bag. Damoni told the police he had found a second cell phone near the bus stop. He said he picked it up but had since gotten rid of it.
After Damoni continued to deny that he was involved, he asked for a lawyer.
The police then searched dumpsters along the area. An officer found the bag in a garbage can in the back of Latifa’s yard. Inside the bag was a mop head, a woman’s jacket, men’s clothing, and two knives. All items were soaked in blood. The blood was tested using DNA analysis and came back as a mixture of Damoni and Tequila’s blood.
Prosecutors used neighborhood video and store surveillance cameras, cell phone tower analysis, and DNA evidence to link the crime to Damoni Hall. Tequila’s phone records indicated conversations between the two, but they believed some of that occurred after she died.
Those closest to Tequila said they had met Damoni and that he seemed so nice. One friend said he had a dark side that no one but Tequila had seen.
The police investigated the suspicious withdrawals using her bank debit card. However, the bank’s surveillance cameras were not functioning at the time.
The prosecution and police believed that Damoni had been the one who stole money from Tequila. On the day of the murder, they fought over the money and their possible break up. Damoni then stabbed Tequila, tried to clean up, and took the evidence with him.
In December 2014, Damoni Hall, then 21 years old, pled guilty to second-degree murder.
During the hearing, Damoni claimed that he didn’t mean to kill Tequila, stating that she picked up the knife during an argument.
The judge said Damoni Hall deserves to sit in prison for the rest of his life for stabbing Miss Suter 39 times. He sentenced Hall to 20 years to life behind bars after listening to Hall calmly tell Miss Suter’s family he was sorry for what happened, telling them he didn’t mean to kill her.
At his sentencing, he claimed that the murder had been an accident and that he had blacked out during the attack. An irate judge responded,
“Let’s set the record straight—it was intentional murder that you plead guilty to, and it was no accident. You didn’t black out; you were enraged with jealousy.”
Hall was led away in handcuffs, wearing prison garb. Tequila Suter’s family was left shaken. They said she was an intelligent person and a daughter they could never get back.
He had attacked and brutally murdered Tequila Suter and tried to cover his tracks. He took calculated steps to cover up what he did.
Damoni robbed Tequila Suter of her life.
Prison records indicate that Damoni remains incarcerated at the Attica Correctional Facility in Wyoming County, New York. He will be eligible for parole in 2034.
By all accounts, this was a senseless murder of an innocent young woman who wanted to move on with her life.
How the Senseless Murder of Tequila Suter Was Quickly Solved
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