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Semajs Short, who in 2017 was convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of a 2-year-old girl in Weldon, died today after being assualted by a group of other inmates at Bertie County Correctional Institution in Windsor.

The state Department of Public Safety said Short, 24, was attacked in a housing area at the prison by a number of other offenders shortly before 2:15 p.m.


DPS said the prison’s first responders performed life-saving measures until local paramedics arrived and also worked to resuscitate the offender. Short was pronounced dead by paramedics shortly after 2:30 p.m.

Three other offenders were injured during the group assault and were taken to an outside medical facility for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

The Windsor Police Department and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation are investigating. 

The Department of Public Safety is fully cooperating in the investigation and will seek criminal prosecution against any offender involved in the altercation.

The prison was placed on modified lockdown as investigators worked to discover more about what happened and why. No staff were injured.

Short was convicted of second-degree murder in Halifax County on April 3, 2017. He was serving a 31-year sentence. He was projected to be released on May 7, 2042.

Short pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the August 2014 shooting death of toddler Dy’Unanna Anderson. 

Jamonte Moody also took a plea in the attempted murder of the child’s grandmother and was sentenced to 125 months to 162 months.

The murder of the toddler and the shooting of her grandmother on Cedar Street was done in retribution for the murder of 15-year-old Keyuon Garner, which occurred earlier in the evening of August 5 of 2014, the district attorney’s office said at the time of the men’s sentencings.

Garner was murdered in an area of South Weldon known as The Strip.

Moody and Short stood on an air conditioning unit at a window where the baby, her mother and Catherine Price, her grandmother, slept.

Price sustained several bullets in her body and she still carries a bullet which lodged in her skull, according to evidence presented in court at the time. 

The baby died from a bullet and most likely perished before reaching the hospital, according to testimony.