APD Robbery/Homicide Unit Detective Eric Rozier speaks at the Law Enforcement Center during a news conference concerning four men charged in connection with a March 17 drive-by shooting case where William L. Davis Jr., and Desmond T. Williams were killed.
ALBANY, Ga. — Albany Police Department officials on Thursday announced the arrests of four suspects in the March 17 fatal drive-by shooting on Willard Avenue.
At a press conference at the Law Enforcement Center, police officials said Harrell Lorenzo Hicks, 20, and Jawaski Edward Kennedy, 20, had been charged with two counts each of felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of firearms early Thursday and taken to the Dougherty County Jail.
Two additional suspects, Maurice Kent Jimmerson, 22, and Desmond Sadique Warren, 18, were already in the Dougherty County Jail on unrelated charges, officials said. According to APD Homicide Detective Eric Rozier, the two were transported to the LEC on Pine Avenue, where each was interviewed and charged.
Thursday’s charges stem from the fatal attack of William Lamont Davis Jr. and Desmond Treon Williams, who were killed on Willard Avenue when the occupants of a passing vehicle opened fire.
Davis had previously negotiated a plea to aggravated assault and violation of the street gang terrorism act, prompting speculation his death may have been gang-related. Police are tight-lipped, however, as to almost all particulars of the case, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation.
“This is a continuing investigation, and we still have a lot of work to do,” Rozier said. “We’re still actively working on leads and tips from the community and from witnesses.”
According to Homicide Detective Terrance Bryant, much of the critical case information was provided by the public.
“We’ve spent countless hours sifting through the information to find the true and accurate information to make these arrests,” Bryant said.
In a separate part of the press conference, APD officials announced the felony murder conviction of Tracy Lashawn Smith for the Dec. 20, 2011 beating death of Jerome Walden.
Smith and two co-defendants, Demarcus Dontravious Lewis and Calvin Brooks, were indicted in September and charged with felony murder, aggravated assault and aggravated battery. A Dougherty County jury found Smith guilty of the assault and battery charges but could not agree on the murder charge, prompting a decision for mistrial.
Smith’s appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court that a new trial would violate the concept of “double jeprody” was denied, and Smith’s new trial for murder was completed this week. The guilty verdict was delivered Thursday morning. Lewis had avoided trial by entering a guilty plea to aggravated assault and aggravated battery charges, and Brooks will be tried at a later date, police officials say.
Walden’s niece, Wanda Rivers, present at the conference, expressed relief that Smith had received a guilty verdict and is scheduled for sentencing next week.
“This trial has been very emotional for me and my family,” Rivers said. “June 24, 2011 changed all of our lives. We’ve been devastated by these acts of crime these individuals committed against my uncle. He did not deserve what they gave him. Justice was served for him today.”