Investigators explore links in Macon homicides

lfabian@macon.comJune 6, 2014 

Arika Jarrell and Ralph Heard might not have been the only people fatally wounded on Fairburn Avenue on May 29.

Bibb County investigators’ growing mound of evidence could prove Terrance Dent Jr. also was shot behind Jarrell’s house a block off Napier Avenue, sometime after 3 a.m. that same day.

Bibb County Sheriff David Davis plans a news conference Monday to discuss developments in the case, but he hinted of a possible link late this week.

“We’re still trying to see if these cases are related,” Davis said Thursday night after leaving a memorial service for Jarrell, an aspiring rapper also known as Lottie Dottie and Dottie Blanco.

Davis addressed nearly 400 of Jarrell’s friends and loved ones who assembled on what would have been her 24th birthday.

“This has been a tragic week in our community,” he said in the reception hall of the Alexander Ballroom, decorated with lighted candles and portraits of Jarrell.

To family members seated at the head tables, the sheriff said, ”Lottie Dottie did not go down without a fight. I can’t go into it, but she let someone take something home with them.”

Jarrell’s father and others in the room interpreted that to mean his daughter might have fired her gun, wounding someone at the scene.

Jarrell and Heard’s bodies were found about 11 a.m. May 30.

Someone who heard the shooting reported hearing two different-sounding weapons sometime after 3 a.m. May 29.

About an hour later, Dent was found wounded in the chest and thigh in front of 688 Grenada Terrace, which is a little more than a block off of Houston Avenue.

The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office has not reported any other shooting victims turning up at local hospitals in that time frame.

The Grenada Terrace crime scene is a little less than five miles away from Jarrell’s house, about a 13-minute car ride down Napier Avenue to Pio Nono Avenue, down Eisenhower Parkway and Houston Avenue.

Although Davis would not confirm Jarrell is suspected of killing Dent in self-defense, he said investigators are exploring “theories” and that things would be much clearer Monday.

Davis is expected to announce whether the facts line up to show that Dent was somehow involved in the ambush that killed Jarrell and Heard, and might have been driven to Grenada Terrace.

At the Fairburn Avenue scene, nearly a dozen evidence flags, those that typically mark shell casings and other items of interest, littered the ground near Jarrell’s bullet-ridden Chevrolet Malibu.

On the morning of May 29, crime scene investigators at Grenada Terrace processed a Dodge Durango parked on the street with its doors open and gathered items on the porch of house number 688.

The vehicle was taken to the crime lab where forensic investigators would be looking for anything that might identify those involved and show whether a wounded Dent was driven across town.

Meanwhile, forensic technicians were called back to that house Thursday to gather evidence after shots were fired into the building when no one was home, said sheriff’s Lt. Sean DeFoe, a public information officer.

Until the sheriff’s office announces a break in the case, it won’t be known if the more recent report of gunfire was an attempt to leave more ballistics evidence behind at Grenada Terrace in an attempt to complicate the investigation.

After the discovery of the two bodies on Fairburn, Davis said it would take investigators a while to determine if anything was missing from the victims to indicate robbery was the motive.

Leroy Jarrell surmises his daughter wouldn’t have much for someone to steal.

“I’m still thinking that she was the target, and I’m almost sure of that,” he said Friday. “She was doing the ‘rap Arika.’ Along with that type of stuff, you had to portray a certain image.”

Her father, a Macon-Bibb County firefighter who, before his daughter was born, was one of the first performers on the local rap scene, said the money-hustling persona might have given others the wrong impression.

“Everybody thought Arika had money,” he said. “She didn’t have money like they thought she did.”

Davis was adamant Friday that there was “no gang connection in any of this.”

The sheriff did say the fourth homicide of that week, the killing of Majesty Conover, was an isolated incident not related to the other deaths.

Two men have been arrested in Conover’s death.

Davis expected more developments over the weekend.

On Friday, Tyrone Lewis, 34, a person wanted for questioning in Dent’s slaying, was arrested and booked into the Bibb County jail on probation violations and failing to register as a paroled sex offender.

Another man wanted for questioning in the case, 36-year-old Vincent Lewis, was not listed in the jail file.

Davis said he looks forward to Monday when he will showcase the investigators’ hard work on all the recent homicides.

“The community is concerned about this, and I want them to know we take this seriously,” he said.

Telegraph writer Joe Kovac Jr. contributed to this report. To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.

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