0

Trial over slain owner to start

LAWRENCEVILLE - A Riverdale man is to stand trial this week in the killing of a disabled Lilburn business owner last year.

Quincy Marcel Jackson joins three co-defendants implicated in the killing of Tedla Lemma, 51, in his upscale Kenion Forest Drive home March 25, 2008.

Police believe Jackson and his accomplices first pillaged Lemma's home in November 2007 for cash and valuables. On the return trip, Lemma was reportedly hog-tied, beaten and gagged so tightly he suffocated.

A grand jury indicted Jackson in September on 18 counts, including murder and kidnapping. He has remained in jail since his July arrest.

Jackson's former roommate in Riverdale, Marshae Brooks, was arrested and charged with murder in February after the third suspect, Loran Araya, told prosecutors of his involvement. Cell phone records helped tie all three to the scene, police said.

Police believe the crew perpetrated four home-invasion robberies in the months prior to Lemma's death, including the kidnapping of two Buckhead jewelry store owners living in Stone Mountain.

Police say Araya, a former Lilburn resident, knew most of the victims. Her parents once sold a package store to Lemma's family.

At the time of his death, Lemma, an affluent convenience store owner from Ethiopia, was paralyzed from a robbery when he was shot in the head several years ago. Detectives have testified the suspects never intended to kill Lemma and only learned of his death via broadcast news reports hours later.

Detectives are searching for a fourth suspect in the murder known on the streets as "Money Mark," an investigator testified last month.