Alabama residents charged in Norcross-area murder

Demetrius Heade

An Alabama man who shot a Snellville resident in the chest with a rifle in November 2016 during an apparent road-rage incident has been sentenced to life without parole for the man’s death.

Last week, a Gwinnett County jury convicted Demetrius Heade of murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony for the murder of Michael Harvey.

According to prosecutors and previous reports by the Daily Post, at about 8:30 p.m. Nov. 10, 2016, police found Harvey lying in the northbound lane of Button Gwinnett Drive in unincorporated Norcross.

“Following (an) accident, the victim was shot for reasons still unknown,” a police report said. “The suspects attempted to flee the location (in a minivan), but a punctured tire prevented the vehicle from traveling any significant distance.”

Prosecutors said the murder weapon — a 30/30 Lever Action Winchester rifle — was found in a ditch near the minivan.

When police ran the minivan’s license plate, they found it had been stolen in a carjacking several days before in Alabama. In that case, the carjacking victim, Levister Brinnon, was also shot and killed.

“After speaking with Alabama detectives, Detective Cleland of the Gwinnett County Police Department was able to identify defendant Demetrius Heade and his girlfriend, Tilisha Tate, as persons of interest since both were seen on Alabama surveillance footage using the Mr. Brinnon’s credit cards shortly after his murder, as well as driving his minivan,” prosecutors said. “On scene in Gwinnett, officers found various food items left behind in the minivan so they canvassed nearby stores and pulled surveillance footage showing both Heade and Tate driving the stolen vehicle and purchasing the same items as those found in the car.”

The couple was arrested the day after Harvey’s murder.

“After initial questioning by law enforcement, both defendants denied any involvement in the death of Michael Harvey,” prosecutors said. “Once Tate was transported back to Alabama, she told Alabama detectives that defendant Heade had shot and killed Michael Harvey after the accident from the front driver’s seat and through the closed driver’s side window.”

Tate also reportedly told Alabama detectives that Heade had shot and killed Brinnon “out of anger” and then stole his minivan, which they drove to Georgia.

“Tate said she was in fear of Heade and was not initially forthcoming,” prosecutors said. “At trial, the state was allowed to present evidence against Heade for shooting Tate a month prior to the murder, evidence of Levister’s Brinnon’s murder, as well as evidence of an armed robbery committed by Heade and Tate of another victim on the same day as the murder of Michael Harvey.”

The Gwinnett jury deliberated a little over an hour before finding Heade guilty on all charges.

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Crime Reporter

Isabel is a crime and health reporter for the Gwinnett Daily Post. She graduated from Emory University in 2016 with a B.A. in international studies. She is originally from the Boston area.

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