Teen accused of being in a gang denied bond

LAWRENCEVILLE - Dominic Montrez Thicklin, the oldest of four Snellville brothers that police say are involved in gang activity, was denied bond by Gwinnett County Magistrate Judge Gene Cantrell on Tuesday, said Snellville police Detective Kevin Sebring.

Thicklin, 17, will remain in jail until his trial comes to court, which Sebring said might be next month.

"The judge felt comfortable enough with probable cause to deny bond," Sebring said.

Thicklin was arrested and charged with criminal trespass, simple battery, robbery, participation in gang activity and terroristic threats and acts on March 9.

Thicklin's mother, Prima Kowona Charleston, said she thought things went favorably at the bond hearing because police didn't present any solid evidence.

"Basically, he (Thicklin) was denied bond because the police said he was in a gang, but he's not," Charleston said. "It's a rap group."

According to a police report, Thicklin and his three younger brothers participated in gang activity under the name The Strap Squad.

Snellville Police Chief Roy Whitehead told the Gwinnett Daily Post on Friday that investigators found evidence of gang activity on the boys' MySpace.com pages and in a book.

Charleston said on Friday that what police discovered were rap lyrics the boys had written.

Thicklin's younger brothers, ages 13, 14 and 16, will appear in juvenile court later this week, Charleston said.

They are being held at the Regional Youth Detention Center on three counts of burglary, four counts of strong-armed robbery and one count of participation in gang activity. The 16-year-old boy was also charged with misdemeanor statutory rape and the 13-year-old faces false imprisonment charges.

The charges were brought against the boys after a 14-year-old girl reportedly told police she was forced into a car by two men she did not know, taken to an unidentified location and then held for three days at Charleston's Dorian Drive home.

The girl, who told police a boy hit her whenever she tried to leave and that she was not allowed to use the phone, said she had intercourse one time during her four-day capture.

Charleston said Friday that the girl is a runaway who lied to police to avoid getting in trouble.

Charleston and her grandmother, 74-year-old Mary L. Herndon, were each arrested on a charge of interference with custody on March 9 as well. The two were released on $5,600 bond.