According to Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds, a grand jury has indicted five men in two recent gang-motivated shootings that occurred in Kennesaw’s Legacy Park neighborhood.
Last Thursday, the Cobb Grand Jury handed down the 36-count indictment against Christopher Davis, 17, of Acworth; Alexander Market, 18, of Acworth; Brian McCary, 20, of Kennesaw; Timothy Reddie, 21, of Marietta; and Kristian Williams, 18, of Austell.
Charges in the indictment include 20 counts of Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, and 10 counts of aggravated assault, as well as criminal damage to property and firearms-possession charges. McCrary is the only one of the five charged with every count in the indictment.
“This indictment is further proof that the District Attorney’s Office is committed to pursuing and prosecuting gang activity within our county,” Reynolds said in a news release.
The Kennesaw Police Department, coordinating with other area law enforcement agencies and the District Attorney’s Office, investigated the Nov. 16, 2013 and Jan. 12, 2014 shootings, which both targeted a house in Kennesaw’s Legacy Park neighborhood, and arrested the five defendants. No one was hit by the bullets.
Law-enforcement reports indicate that the shootings were in retaliation for a young man leaving the Piru Bloods gang, and that the shootings were done to raise the status of at least some of the defendants within the gang.
This is the second indictment of this type in as many months in Cobb County. In March, the grand jury returned a 27-count indictment charging Johannes Lopez with shooting at random, red vehicles near Austell last September. Lopez, 25, of Marietta, is a member of the SUR 13 gang. Red is the color of a SUR 13 rival gang and that is one of the believed motives in the case.
In both of these cases, the investigations reveal that non-gang members were victimized and that the shootings occurred in public locations.
Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Michael Scott Carlson, who is prosecuting the cases, explained the legal importance of this type of indictment.
“By using Georgia’s Street Gang Act as we have in both of these indictments, we can not only bring charges that will convey to the jury exactly what type of gang activity occurred, but we will also be able to provide them with all of the evidence about the gang and its activities, nationally and in Georgia,” Carlson said.
District Attorney Reynolds added: “Indictments like this send a message that gang activity will not be tolerated here in Cobb.”
A 2009 U.S. Department of Justice study estimated the number of the Bloods criminal street gang members to be as high as 30,000 nationally. That same report noted that the activities of SUR 13 include narcotics distribution, assault, carjacking, home invasion, homicide, and robbery -- and that SUR 13 is one of “most significant gangs operating” in the Southeastern United States.
Both cases are assigned to Cobb Superior Court Judge Lark Ingram, and all of the defendants are being held at Cobb Jail without bond. Arraignment dates have not been set for the five defendants in the Kennesaw case. In the Austell case, Lopez has pleaded not guilty.
Gang convictions carry sentences of 10 to 15 years per count, depending on the statute subsection, and gang convictions do not merge at sentencing.