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Testimony: At least 5 men fired 40-plus shots during killing of Mobile 11-year-old

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 12:42 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - As many as five gunmen fired more than 40 shots during an attack that resulted in the death of an 11-year-old boy last month, a police investigator testified Thursday.

Mobile County District Judge George Zoghby determined prosecutors had enough evidence for a grand jury to review the case against Cameron Lejoy Walker, 19, of Montgomery.

Co-defendant Tyrik Demetri DuBose was set to have a preliminary hearing, as well. But his attorney, Buzz Jordan, realized he previously had represented the victim’s mother on a matter. Because of the conflict of interest, the judge allowed him to withdraw.

The shooting occurred on May 30 at the R.V. Taylor Plaza public housing complex. According to police, Lequinten Morrissette was inside his home on Duval Street when a bullet struck him in the neck. He died at University Hospital.

Mobile police Detective Rory Graves testified Thursday that multiple witnesses – including one of the suspects – have told investigators that there were five people involved and that all of them fired shots. He said police recovered shell casings from four different types of weapons in a field across from the street. Prosecutors believe there were two 9 mm handguns, a .22-caliber rifle, a .223-caliber rifle and a 40-caliber handgun.

So far, authorities have charged three people – Walker, DuBose, 21, of Mobile, and Anthony Jerome Shinn, 20, of Mobile. Mobile County Assistant District Attorney Louis Walker said the other two alleged shooters could be charged. He added that felony murder charges could be upgraded to capital murder against one or more of the defendants.

“That’s not a decision that I make by myself,” he said after the hearing. “Obviously, that’s a decision that’s made in consultation with the district attorney and the chief assistant and other prosecutors on the murder team.”

Graves testified that police responded to Morrisette’s home several hours before the shooting to investigate a burglary complaint. He said the boy’s mother, Laquita Bradley, discovered someone had broken into the home and had taken several items. He said a friend of Bradley’s went outside after a neighbor reported seeing four men in the area earlier.

The friend confronted a group of men in a field across the street from Bradley’s home and one of them said, “That staring is going to get you capped,” Graves said. The detective testified that the friend saw that the men were armed and retreated back to the Bradley home. He testified that the men followed him and shot at the house, sending Bradley and her friend to the floor of the porch.

Bradley said one bullet struck Morrissette in the neck and another hit his shoulder. His mother went inside and found him in a pool of blood, Graves said.

Authorities say there is no evidence that the alleged gunmen were responsible for the burglary. But Graves testified that they were on the street because they were upset about a troubling incident that occurred that same day the home of a friend or relative that Cameron Walker was visiting from Montgomery. She and another woman received messages from what they described as a fake Instagram account describing what the women were wearing, the detective testified.

Graves testified that one of the witnesses told investigators the person sending the message, a man named B.J., told them he was going to come “spin” them, which she explained meant shoot the place up. The detective testified that none of the witnesses offered a possible motive for that, but he added that that is what put the five shooting suspects on the street that day.

Under cross-examination form defense attorney Greg Dawkins, Graves acknowledged that he does not know for certain that Walker fired into the house. It is possible that he merely shot a vehicle on the street, the detective said. Three vehicles on the street had bullet holes, Graves testified.

The judge declined to rule on a request by Dawkins to reduce Walker’s $600,000 bail. Zoghby said he would take the matter under advisement.

A six-page court filing by Dawkins makes reference to the Magna Carta and an 1881 court ruling. He argued in court that the judge must consider his client’s ability to pay a bond.

“It’s, in effect, being held without bond. … Six hundred thousand is clearly excessive bail,” he said, noting that there are defendants with more egregious charges who have lower bail amounts.

Prosecutor Walker responded: “I don’t think there’s much more egregious than the shooting of an 11-year-old boy.”

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