LAWRENCEVILLE - Murder charges against two Lawrenceville teenagers were bound over to Superior Court after a probable cause hearing Tuesday.
After hearing testimony from a Gwinnett County police detective regarding the June 11 slaying of 21-year-old Dimitrius White of Duluth, magistrate Gene Cantrell found reason to move forward in proceedings against Brandon Ennis and Michael White (no relation to Dimitrius White), both 14.
When deputies led Ennis and White into the courtroom, Ennis' mother, Suzette, became ill and had to step outside. Suzette Ennis believes her son is being held because police can't find the real shooter.
On the night of the shooting, officers were called to a quadraplex on Caboose Court in Lawrenceville just after 9:30 p.m. where they found Dimitrius White dead inside a late-model Buick. Detective John Rowell said White, sitting in the driver's seat, had been shot in the back of the head. The .223-caliber round, he said, entered somewhere around the back of the car and passed through the seat.
Carl Judson, 17, of Norcross, was shot in the arm. He was treated and released from a local hospital.
Exactly what caused the altercation is unclear, but police believe Dimitrius White, Isiah Smith and Judson went to Michael White's home at 95 Caboose Court to settle some sort of dispute.
Rowell said the men went to fist fight and that no weapons were found in Dimitrius White's vehicle or a second vehicle reportedly carrying Judson's cousins.
Rowell admitted that investigators received differing accounts of what happened. Two witnesses, he said, placed Michael White at the scene but were unclear about his alleged involvement.
While being interviewed at the hospital, police said, Judson named one of the shooters only as "Brandon," and described him as light-skinned with a large tattoo on his forearm.
A third suspect, Kevin Henderson, of California, remains at large.
A search of the area, police said, turned up one "SKS-type" assault rifle, found by a nearby treeline. Rowell said the weapon was fully loaded and doesn't appear to have been fired. Police also found two shell casings but estimate that seven to nine bullets were fired, including one found lodged above a baby's bed in a residence across the street.
Gwinnett authorities arrested White and Ennis on Wednesday at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta as the pair returned from a trip to California, where they are from.
They are currently being held at the Gwinnett Regional Youth Detention Center.
Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said he doesn't remember a case of this magnitude in Gwinnett County involving such young defendants. The case could still be sent to Juvenile Court, he said, a decision that will be made later.
"We'll look at all of the facts including what we can find out about their backgrounds before making the final decision whether to prosecute them as adults or juveniles," Porter said. "For now, they will remain charged as adults."