As reported in the Athens Banner-Herald, recently filed Clarke County Superior Court documents offer a look into the internal workings of a street gang. Last summer an Athens man shot and killed a fellow gang member after he was about to be punished for bringing shame to the gang.
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According to an affidavit filed in the case, the deadly shooting took place July 17, after 19-year-old Zaria Alexis Powell was told by her fellow gang members to pick up Randy Junior Leverette and take him to Perry’s Convenience Store on Cedar Shoals Drive.
Athens-Clarke County police said Powell and Leverette were connected with Piru, which is a gang affiliated with the Bloods street gang.
The detective’s affidavit indicated that Powell, a 19-year-old Highland Park Drive resident, was told by David Deshun Cooper and William Tremaine “Hunxho” Worley to drive Leverette to an “emergency meeting” because Leverette had violated “certain rules and protocols” of the gang.
The 25-year-old Baxter Drive resident “brought shame upon his gang” because he got beat up by a rival gang member and didn’t retaliate, according to the affidavit.
Worley later told police that Leverette “would have to suffer some sort of monetary or physical punishment for this,” according to the affidavit.
Worley reportedly told a detective that he and Cooper planned to keep Leverette at the convenience store so they could call other gang members for a meeting to figure out how to punish Leverette.
Following Powell’s arrival at Perry’s she went inside to pay for gas while Leverette stayed in her car. Worley and Cooper then approached Leverette, according to the affidavit. Worley told the detective that after they saw Leverette take out a pistol and chamber a round, he ran off one way but Cooper was shot by Leverette as he ran another way.
Police said Cooper, 24, of Bethel Midtown Village, was shot multiple times and was pronounced dead at the hospital.
According to police and court records, Leverette was arrested the same day Cooper was killed. Powell was arrested Oct. 26 and Worley was arrested in South Carolina on Nov. 25. Initially all were charged for Cooper’s death.
Leverette’s case was presented separately on July 17 to a grand jury that did not indict him for murder, but instead charged him with possession of firearm during the commission of a crime, according to an indictment filed in Clarke County Superior Court.
Western Judicial Circuit District Attorney Ken Mauldin suggested that grand jurors may have concluded that Leverette was justified in the shooting as he was defending himself from possible imminent harm.
On Oct. 23 a case against Worley and Powell was presented to the grand jury at which time an indictment was returned charging each with felony murder, violation of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism Prevention Act, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, conspiracy to commit false imprisonment and conspiracy to commit robbery.
At a Dec. 12 arraignment both suspects plead not guilty to all charges. They were denied bond and are being held at the Clarke County Jail pending trial.