Inmate convicted in 2014 toddler death killed in prison assault

Published 9:58 am Wednesday, March 30, 2022

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WINDSOR – The Bertie Correctional Institution offender who was assaulted and killed yesterday (Tuesday) by a group of other inmates was serving a 31-year sentence for the murder of a Halifax County toddler in 2014.

Semajs Short, who in 2017 was convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of a 2-year-old girl in Weldon, died Tuesday afternoon after being assaulted by a group of other inmates at the state prison located off Cooper Hill Road 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. 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. DPS said no staff members were injured.

According to, 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 in Weldon was done in retribution for the murder of 15-year-old Keyuon Garner, which occurred earlier in the evening of August 5, 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.

The evidence showed that 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.

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.