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Judge sends teen shooting case to Ga. Supreme Court

LAWRENCEVILLE - A Gwinnett County judge Tuesday bounded to the State Supreme Court a case involving the shooting of two Gwinnett teens.

Cleandre Lacey, 19, of Lawrenceville and 20-year-old Stephanie Brianna Buskey of Johnson City, Tenn., appeared at a 8:30 a.m. hearing before Gwinnett County Magistrate Judge Kristina Hammer Blum. Both are suspected in a March 17 shooting that killed 17-year-old Kenneth Brett Cunningham and injured 18-year-old Paul Theodore Mayhew.

Lacey and Buskey were arrested last month after Gwinnett County investigators were led to believe the two were involved in a drug-related robbery turned shooting at Cunningham's home on Sundale Drive.

Lacey is charged with felony murder, possession of a firearm during a crime and aggravated assault. Buskey faces felony murder, aggravated assault and armed robbery charges, according to arrest warrants.

Police said the shooting occurred about 5:30 p.m. March 17. According to a police report, officers found Cunningham shot to death inside the home and Mayhew outside suffering from gunshot wounds.

Cunningham was pronounced dead at the scene and Mayhew was transported to Gwinnett Medical Center. Police said Mayhew is still recovering.

County Police Department Detective J.D. Smith, who testified in court Tuesday, said Cunningham had been in contact with Lacey about purchasing marijuana before the shooting took place.

Smith said Mayhew, a friend of Cunningham, was called by Cunningham to help him with an alleged drug deal with Lacey and was shot while at the home.

At this time Smith said he believes a fight took place at the Cunningham residence and shots were fired.

Smith said Lacey and Buskey reportedly went to the home to steal marijuana. Buskey allegedly drove to the home and stayed in a vehicle outside while Lacey went inside.

Smith said during the course of his investigation he learned Lacey and Buskey met with a group of at least four other men and discussed robbing Cunningham of marijuana before the March incident.

"They (the men) said they declined to help with the robbery, but Buskey volunteered," Smith said.

Smith said the investigation is far from over, and he is still working on retrieving some cell phone records and is waiting on forensic results.

Lacey's attorney, Keith Martin, said he was content with the judge's decision.

"I'm extremely pleased with what went on today," Martin said after the two-hour preliminary hearing. "The end result was not unexpected. We're going to have to sit down with Cleandre and the family and evaluate what we learned today. We got 1,000 questions answered and 800 to ask, and we're going to seek answers to those 800."

Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Dan Mayfield said he was also satisfied.

"I'm pleased that the court bound the case over," Mayfield said. "I'm sure today helped clarify the case further for the family and gets us one step closer to a trial."

Some of Lacey's and Buskey's family were present at the morning hearing,

but refused to talk about the case.