Defendants bound over in gang homicide case
by Brande Poulnot
Sep 10, 2010 | 4555 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Clad in transport chains and lockup attire, three teens accused in a March 13 shooting investigators believe was gang-related were bound over to superior court Thursday. Magistrate Judge John Paul Jones found there was enough probable cause to allow the prosecution to move forward in the case surrounding the death of 19-year-old Norman Moore Jr.

Moore, of Roth Lane, was found around 9:20 that evening lying in front of 44 Middlebrook Drive, then the home of two teens arrested and charged with murder -- Dedric Deshon Jackson, 18, and Demetrius Matavlo Castle Jr., 17.

A third teen was also charged in connection with the homicide. Leondris Tyree Jackson, who was 14 years old when arrested in Louisiana in March, is currently housed in a nearby youth detention center. Dedric Jackson and Castle are brothers, and also were apprehended in Louisiana.

In the preliminary hearing Thursday, Bartow County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division Sgt. Jonathan Rogers said the autopsy indicated Moore succumbed to internal bleeding as a result of a gunshot wound to his chest. He also sustained a non-life threatening shot to the left arm.

But it is not clear who allegedly fired the fatal shot that damaged Moore's heart and liver, according to Rogers' testimony. A number of witnesses gave varying accounts to investigators, putting guns in each of the three defendants' hands.

Witnesses and each of the teens said Moore was riding by what turned out to be Dedric Jackson's 18th birthday party, and jumped out of friend's car cocking a gun and challenging partygoers to a fight.

One of the men in the car with Moore told investigators that as the group drove by the party, he heard yelling he took as a challenge. "This is BBS. This is our spot," Rogers said, referring to the alleged gang Bottom Boyz Survivors.

Witnesses reported a fist fight ensued between Dedric Jackson and Moore, Rogers said. He added that after his own arrest, Leondris Jackson reported that Dedric Jackson pulled a gun on Moore and hit him in the face with the firearm.

Rogers said the autopsy indicated Moore sustained blunt-force trauma, including a laceration and bruising, to the right side of his face. The investigator added that Leondris Jackson said Dedric Jackson's gun went off and Castle stood over Moore and shot him.

It is unclear whether the shot allegedly fired by Dedric Jackson's gun struck Moore in the arm, but Rogers said a witness reported a shot also hit a vehicle at the scene and investigators found evidence the SUV could have been hit with a projectile.

Investigators did not recover that round, but apparently believe a .40-caliber bullet found in the roadway in front of 44 Middlebrook Drive may have come from Moore's gun.

Rogers on the stand said that hospital personnel found a .40-caliber handgun in Moore's pants. He was pronounced dead at Cartersville Medical Center.

A 9-mm spent casing was found in the grass near Moore's body, but no additional projectiles were recovered and both gunshots he sustained were through and through.

Excluding the gun found on Moore's person, investigators did not recover any other firearms, Rogers said.

District Attorney Joe Campbell said he anticipates seeking indictments against the trio from the grand jury in its October term. He added that if convicted the defendants could receive life sentences.

February incident on Middlebrook comes up in hearing

During cross examination, Rogers said Moore had previous involvement with guns, and responded to questions surrounding a February shots-fired incident on Middlebrook Drive.

Rogers told The Daily Tribune News in July that Moore was a suspected 52nd Street Hoover Gangsta Crip gang member, but the Feb. 22 incident is believed to have involved BBS and another alleged gang, BAMN, or "by any means necessary."

In what may have been a precursor to the alleged homicide, investigators arrested four teens in connection with the shooting incident in which no one was injured less than a month prior.

Rogers said in July the trio charged in connection with Moore's death were involved in and present for the February incident, but not charged, and the case led investigators to begin to establish the existence of BBS.

"We're not really sure [the homicide] was a [turf] war as much as the BBS guys trying to flex their muscle in their area," Rogers said in a July interview. "They kind of considered that their area, as [is] obvious from the first shooting [incident]. They had a problem with the BAMN guys being over there."