Court hears details of Oak Street shots

Published 3:36 am Saturday, October 13, 2018

A probable cause hearing in Covington County District Court Friday in which both the state and the defense asked for juvenile status for the defendant provided details about at least one of the recent drive-by shootings in Andalusia.

Marteez LeMar Desowne Wilkerson was arrested on Sept. 18 – his 18th birthday – and

Marteez Wilkerson was charged as an adult on his 18th birthday for alleged participation in a crime that occurred when he was 17. Both his attorney, and the DA’s office, is seeking juvenile status for him.

charged with first degree robbery and fourth degree theft of property in connection with a shooting incident on Oak Street on Aug. 11, when he was still 17. A second juvenile also is charged with first degree robbery and fourth degree theft of property in the case, and a Mississippi teen,

Santonio Davis, 18, of Moss Point, Mississippi, is charged with three counts of Attempted Murder (Class A Felony) and three counts of Shooting into an Occupied Dwelling (Class B Felony) in the case.

APD Investigator Cody Warren testified about details of a botched drug transaction and the subsequent shots being fired, based on his interviews of Wilkerson and other suspects involved.

“Three guys and two girls went from McDonalds to Sonic,” Warren said. “The three guys then got out of the car at Sonic and walked down to Oak Street, which is right across from Sonic. One of the subjects said that there was a really big, huge guy (Wilkerson) and a smaller guy. They then said that the big guy kind of walked up on them and they told him that they wanted to buy $20 worth of weed.”

Warren said that the subject said that they handed $20 to (the small guy, a juvenile) and then (the juvenile) handed the money to Wilkerson.

“They said the big guy [Wilkerson] turned around and started to walk off with the money,” Warren said. “As the big guy turned around, they said that the little guy turned around and started walking off as well and said ‘It’s took, bro.’ Then the little guy (the juvenile) pulls out a gun and starts shooting.”

Warren said that one of the subjects knew that his friend had a gun as well, but the little guy (juvenile) started shooting first.

“The subject said that he got behind a concrete thing and doesn’t know who was firing at who, he just took off running,” Warren said.

Assistant District Attorney Nikki Stevens asked Warren where the subjects placed Wilkerson at the time of the shooting.

“He said he had walked down the street a piece,” Warren said. “But that he was not way down the road. He was close enough to where he could hear (the juvenile) say ‘It’s took, bro.’”

Warren said that the suspects told him that they went back to Sonic after the shooting, and told the girls that they had to go.

“They start to leave Sonic and then one of the individuals said ‘Hold up,’ and pulls an AR-15 out of the trunk of the vehicle, gets back in the back seat with it and tells the other subjects to ride back down Oak Street,” Warren said. “They said as they went back down Oak Street, they see Mr. Wilkerson, (the juvenile) and another male subject who was not involved in the first transaction. Then they said that they started opening fire, shooting at the three subjects.”

Testimony indicated an Oak Street home was hit at least three times by the AR-15 shots.

Stevens then asked Warren if there was any conversation about why Wilkerson walked away with the money.

“One of the subjects said that he asked, ‘Hey, where is he going with my money?’ and then (the juvenile) said ‘He’s going to get the weed, don’t worry about how I do business,’” Warren said.

Stevens asked Warren if he talked to Wilkerson when he was arrested.

“I did, he was read his Miranda rights, and then he said that he had nothing to do with it and denies that he even touched the $20 or even held the $20,” Warren said. “He stated that he had nothing to do with the marijuana, and on that day he said that he just had nothing to do with it, that what (the juvenile) did was on (the juvenile).”

Warren said that on August 14 he interviewed Wilkerson and he had changed his story, now admitting that he knew (the juvenile’s) intention was to take the money from the start.

“He then said that he did have the $20, started walking away with it and then heard (the juvenile) say ‘It’s took,’ and heard gun shots.”

Warren said that (the juvenile) was arrested the day after Wilkerson, who had the $20 the entire time.

“He said that it wasn’t suppose to go like that,” Warren said. “He said that the gun was Marteez’s and that he gave it to him while they were walking up the street. He also admitted to firing a shot, but said that he only shot after the other guy shot at him first.”

On cross examination, defense attorney Corey Bryan asked Warren when Marshall told him that the gun was Wilkerson’s.

“Speaking of the gun, (the juvenile) said that he received the gun from Marteez,” Bryan said. “But he didn’t say anything about that up until the third interview. He had been interviewed close to two hours before he finally said that. You guys also had conversations telling him that he would be charged with robbery first and theft of property third, that he would be charged as an adult and that he would spend the rest of his life in prison. You had all of those conversations before he said anything about the gun being Marteez’s. You think that him being fearful of spending the rest of his life in prison might have influenced him now at the end of the third interview, now pointing fingers saying that he got the gun from Marteez?”

Under Bryan’s questioning, Warren confirmed he interviewed Wilkerson on August 14 – before he turned 18 – without reading his Miranda rights and without having a guardian present.

“Numerous times, and these are quotes that I’ve taken from you [Warren] in this interview, you said, ‘We ain’t trying to charge you for taking $20,’” Bryan said.

“You remember saying this, ‘When we tell you, you ain’t in trouble, you ain’t in trouble?’ Do you remember saying this, ‘The mayor is on our tail?’ and Marteez said in that interview that (the juvenile) gave him the gun.”

Bryan said that when the first shooting and altercation took place, Wilkerson was down the street.

“He was not there when this all took place,” Bryan said. “One of the suspects said, ‘Hey what is he doing way back there,’ and that’s what started the whole argument. Every single witness that you have spoken to has said Marteez was not there.”

Bryan said the charges against Wilkerson could destroy his life.

“He is a senior in high school, he’s on the football team and he has several scholarships offers,” Bryan said. “You arrest a man for theft of property in the first degree, you could potentially destroy his life.”

Stevens said that if Wilkerson’s case does not go to the grand jury, then she would like for the case to be remanded to juvenile court.

“We ask that if the charge for theft of property first is not dismissed, we would like for it to be remanded to juvenile court,” Stevens said. “That way the felony would not be attached at that point.”

Bryan said that he truly believes Wilkerson is innocent.

“He wasn’t present at the time of the shooting,” Bryan said. “I believe he is innocent and that all of the charges should be dropped. Now it is just a waiting game to see what the judge orders.”

District Judge Julie Moody had not yet ruled Friday night.