Donovan Hotel murder suspect arrest stuns friends, neighbors

Just a few years ago, 21-year-old Jamyra Gallmon was an aspiring basketball player dreaming of going to college. Now, she is behind bars, charged with murdering attorney David Messerschmitt during a robbery set up at The Donovan hotel.

Her arrest stunned those who knew her.

"None of us saw this coming," said Vincent McDuffie, her former basketball coach at Forestville Military Academy.

Gallmon was an honor student and played basketball. Somewhere between now and then, something apparently went wrong.

"She didn't get into altercations or arguments," McDuffie said. "She was a normal teenage girl."

That is why it is hard for him to come to terms with the idea she could be the suspect seen in surveillance video after Messerschmitt's murder.

"When I looked back at the video, I said that looks like her," he said. "We're shocked. Still in shock."

Neighbors at the Skyland Apartments where Gallmon lived saw a different side of her. There were problems. She and her girlfriend would often get into fights -- sometimes extreme.

"They would argue a lot and have arguments a lot and a couple of times people … would call police because of the loud noises like at two or three o'clock in the morning," said a neighbor in who did not want to be identified.

Up until December, Gallmon worked briefly as a security officer with MVP Protective Services. The company never experienced any problems with her.

In a statement, the company's CEO, Melvin Key, described her as someone "who had a lot of promise for her future."

She left the job because she said she wanted to go into law enforcement.

"Everyone at our firm was extremely shocked to learn that she could have been involved in such a heinous crime and we are still trying to come to grips to what would cause her to do such a thing," the statement read.

Her future for now is in a jail cell, awaiting trial for murder. At her apartment complex, neighbors said she would sometimes sit on the front steps. They never noticed anything unusual except for the frequent arguments. They didn't think much of it until her arrest.

"She just looked like the rest of us," said neighbor Aaron Sanders. "I mean, I guess that's always the case. You never really know what people are capable of behind closed doors."

Police searched the apartment on Wednesday. According to court documents, investigators retrieved a cell phone with an email account used to communicate with Messerschmitt, a folding pocket knife with a silver blade and black handle and what was described as numerous pieces of evidence related to the homicide.