Indictment glitch delays murder trial

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A glitch in a bill of indictment for murder suspect Joshua Banks has caused his trail to be bumped until at least next month, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

The 27-year-old Lawrenceville man is accused of accidentally -- but fatally -- shooting a 13-year-old boy who was looking out his bedroom window the night of Jan. 18, 2010.

Jury selection in Banks' trial was scheduled to begin in Gwinnett Superior Court on Monday.

The delay was caused by a "defect" in Banks' indictment on counts of felony murder and weapons possession, said Assistant District Attorney Karen Harris, who is prosecuting.

A prior conviction for Banks that formed the basis of felony murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon counts was listed incorrectly in the indictment, requiring that the trial be continued, Harris said.

"To avoid any further delay, we're seeking a new indictment from the grand jury this week and will immediately place it back onto the court's next two trial calendars," she said in an email.

Harris expects Banks to be tried either the week of February 13 or March 12.

The boy, Tre Shambry, was peering out his second-story bedroom window at the Holland Park apartments in Lawrenceville when about six shots rang out. One bullet struck Shambry in the chest, killing him.

Nine months later, Gwinnett police charged Banks in the killing. Investigators said he'd been intoxicated with a group of carousing men in a parking lot outside the boy's window. Banks was reportedly playing with a friend's .40-caliber pistol, racking it several times before firing shots into the air for no reason.

Police said the other rounds went over the apartment building.

In an earlier hearing, a defense attorney suggested that Shambry's fatal shooting fit the charge of involuntary manslaughter more than felony murder, in that it was an accident, by all accounts.

Shambry had recently enrolled in eighth grade at Lawrenceville's Creekland Middle School and had aspirations of playing football in high school.

Banks faces life in prison.