Jury selection begins in gang shooting trial

ALBANY, Ga. -- Jury selection has begun in the trial of four men who stand accused of crimes related to the June 16, 2009, shooting of Donald Winchester, officials say.

Court officials ended the first official day of court without a full jury panel and will resume jury selection this morning.

After a jury is selected, Chief Superior Court Judge Willie Lockette will rule on a series of motions from both the defense and the state regarding tests on evidence in the case.

Lockette's ruling on the motions could suspend the trial with a jury impaneled to allow defense attorneys adequate time to independently test the evidence, delay the trial until Monday as requested by the state to allow time for its expert to testify about the evidence or continue the case as planned without any sort of delay.

Tchywaskie Lamar Jones, Dabkowski Detez Luke, Jerry Lee Harris Jr. and Brandon Taylor have all been indicted by a grand jury in connection with the shooting of Donald Winchester in what is alleged to have been a gang-related shooting.

Each has been charged with violation of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act and party to the crime of aggravated assault, according to court documents.

Jones, Taylor and Luke are accused, as members of one street gang, to have been involved in a fight with Harris, who was a member of a rival street gang, when Winchester was shot.

Two others who were also indicted, Jarnay Bernard Evans and Shaquanah Shade, have resolved their charges.

Evans pleaded guilty to the gang participation charge and was sentenced to serve three years in state prison with 15 on probation.

Shade, who was a 911 dispatcher, agreed to surrender her Peace Officer Standards and Training certification. Shade was facing charges for lying to police but those charges will be dropped if she follows through with surrendering her certification.