A 21-year-old Greenbelt man will spend the rest of his life in prison for fatally shooting a 16-year-old girl during an argument over tattoo ink, Prince George’s County prosecutors said.
Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge Dwight Jackson on Thursday sentenced Rydell Estep to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus 30 years, for the killing of Jericka Chambers.
Chambers and some friends had gone to the Empirian Village apartment complex in Greenbelt on the night of May 31, 2010, to meet with Estep and his brother for a tattoo, according to court documents. As Chambers held a container of tattoo ink, Estep snatched it from her hand, and the two got into an argument. Estep then pointed a gun at Chambers.
“She don’t know who she is messing with,” said Estep, who shot Chambers in the head, according to court documents.
The group of people scattered, and Estep chased one girl and threatened her not to “snitch.”
Chambers died two days later from her injuries.
“The indifference to life which cost this young woman her life is wretched and intolerable,” said Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks. “She was killed over something as inconsequential as tattoo ink.”
Estep and his twin brother, Darnell Estep, were initially charged with first-degree murder in Chambers’ death. Police said Darnell Estep hid the gun used in the shooting and persuaded a witness to give a false description of the shooter.
Charges were dropped against Darnell Estep after investigators determined that he had no role in orchestrating the killing. He testified against his brother during the September trial, according to court records.
“Darnell simply met up with the victim to hand out and get a tattoo,” said Nancy Lineman, a spokeswoman for the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office. “Consequently, no charges were sought for Darnell, especially since evidence was produced that he stopped Rydell from shooting the female friend of the victim.”