ALBANY, Ga. — A gang trial that had been ongoing since Nov. 14 came to a conclusion Monday and was followed by the start of a trial connected to a murder that took place earlier this year.
Heather Lanier, chief assistant district attorney in Dougherty County, said Monday that a jury had found Jermaine Harrison not guilty on a gang charge but guilty on a theft-by-receiving and selling stolen property charge.
Harrison’s co-defendant, Courtney Hicks, was found not guilty of all the charges against him — including possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, possession of a firearm by a felon — except for a reckless conduct misdemeanor charge.
The two were arrested in August as part of “Operation Shock,” an initiative meant to cripple gang activity in Albany. They were among 10 arrested Aug. 19, joining dozens of others already incarcerated.
In all, 54 people had racketeering charges brought against them. The racketeering charges against Hicks and Harrison were later dropped.
Also, Lanier said Monday that a trial has just begun for Tracy Smith, who is accused of being involved in the beating death of Jerome Walden earlier this year.
In that case, police reports have indicated that Walden had been beaten by a board with nails in it on June 24 after being chased through a house. He never regained consciousness and succumbed to his injuries on July 29.
Smith was arrested July 4. Demarcus Lewis and Calvin Brooks were also arrested in connection with the beating.