LAWRENCEVILLE -- An indictment released this week names a convicted felon as a third man responsible for a soured drug deal that left three men dead in a Lawrenceville duplex in late February.
Unlike the other two suspects, James Hill Lanier is not in custody in Gwinnett.
Lanier, who jail records show most recently lived on Water Crest Circle in Lawrenceville, faces more counts (22) than his alleged coconspirators, according to the indictment.
Like Lanier, Ernest Huff, of Lawrenceville, and Theron Green, of Auburn, were indicted this week on counts of murder, felony, aggravated assault and weapons and drug charges. Both a rifle and handgun were used in the bloody conflict on Cannonball Court, and both cocaine and marijuana were involved in the proposed deal, the indictment states.
Whether Lanier is at large or being held elsewhere wasn't immediately known Friday. His status as a felon stemmed from a 2009 marijuana with intent to distribute conviction in Gwinnett.
According to arrest warrants, Green carried a handgun and acted as the "delivery person" for a kilogram of cocaine when multiple gunshots rang out the afternoon of Feb. 29 at the apartment-style duplex, just south of the U.S. Highway 29 and Sugarloaf Parkway intersection. He'd been released from prison about two weeks prior, following a Gwinnett cocaine bust in 2006, and was apprehended when he met with his parole officer.
Huff acted as the deal's "broker." He was apprehended in a SWAT team standoff in Clarkston in late March, authorities said.
Each of the three slain men was riddled with multiple gunshot wounds. They were identified as Farris Allen Weston, 44, of Lawrenceville, Brian Lamont White, 36, and James Edward Isiac, 64, both of Richmond, Va.
The day following the killings, police in Charlotte arrested two men during a traffic stop believed to have been involved with the drug transaction and headed home to Virginia. They were charged with conspiracy to traffic cocaine.
Police have said the victims, and the men apprehended in North Carolina, were "on the same team."
The investigation netted not only two murder suspects, but also several peripheral players whom police weren't necessarily looking for beforehand. The effort is expected to dent drug traffic in an area of unincorporated Lawrenceville where crime is prevalent, authorities have said.