Sheriff: ‘Thieving hoodlums’ cost three lives in May shootout

jkovac@macon.comJune 9, 2014 

Their street names are “White Boy,” “Heavy D,” “Quinn,” “Bear” and “Ping.”

They’re Macon men in their 20s and 30s who, according to cops who know them well, embraced lives of crime and all its trappings.

On Monday, authorities declared them armed bandits, killers, outlaws in a half-cocked robbery scheme hatched at a sports lounge that in the wee hours of May 29 triggered a storm of gunfire on Fairburn Avenue.

Three people died, including one of their own.

It may go without saying, but the alleged bad guys look to have been far from polished stickup men. They came away with no money and, investigators say, they carried out their failed ambush in a borrowed Dodge SUV that belongs to one of their mothers.

“This was caused by, as they say, the root of all evil, the love of money,” Bibb County Sheriff David Davis said. “They were out there to rob somebody, a bunch of thieving hoodlums. ... That was the root of all this carnage.”

The 3 a.m. fusillade on May 29 erupted a block south of Napier Avenue, just east of Log Cabin Drive and Edna Place Road.

The intended robbery targets, Arika Jarrell, 23, and Ralph Heard, 32, were found dead the next day in her Chevy Malibu, which was parked there behind her house on Fairburn.

Three of the surviving suspects, Vincent “White Boy” Lewis, 36, Quintavious “Quinn” Everett, 22, and Rayshawn “Ping” Lucas, 32, have, in recent days, been rounded up and jailed on aggravated assault and murder charges, three counts each.

The sheriff said it now appears 25-year-old Terrance “Heavy D” Dent Jr. was fatally wounded when Jarrell opened fire on her alleged killers.

Davis added that it looks like Jarrell, armed with a 9mm pistol, “traded gunfire” with the robbers, squeezing off enough rounds to empty her gun.

By law, the accused men can be held accountable for Dent’s death if it is deemed to have resulted from actions they put into motion.

Investigators did not divulge what kind of weapons Jarrell and Heard were shot with, just that they were struck by multiple bullets.

The sheriff said Heard and Jarrell were “innocent victims” who had been out “minding their own business and going back home when they were ambushed.”

‘When bullets start flying’

At first, Dent’s death threw a wrinkle in the probe. He was found wounded more than 24 hours before the other victims’ bodies were discovered.

Dent was initially reported shot miles away, on Grenada Terrace, off Houston Avenue on the city’s southeast side May 29. Investigators didn’t learn until later that he had been shot on Fairburn and then driven to Grenada Terrace and dropped off there by his alleged accomplices.

The sheriff said another suspect, Lewis “Bear” Cheney, 30, may have concocted the ill-fated plan to rob Heard and Jarrell, whom Davis said was Heard’s former friend of some description.

Cheney, who investigators say knew where Jarrell lived, was still at large Monday. Warrants for his arrest say he, too, is wanted for three counts of murder and aggravated assault.

Cheney, the sheriff said, apparently saw Heard and Jarrell on Bloomfield Drive at Wings Cafe, a former Quincy’s steakhouse turned sports lounge, in the hours before they were gunned down.

Davis said the alleged bandits thought Heard was carrying cash, and it appears he was. Though the amount was not disclosed, money was found in the car, the sheriff added, untouched by the gunmen.

“When bullets start flying,” Davis said, “you kind of forget about the money.”

‘Callous, heartless individuals’

Heard and Jarrell were killed behind Jarrell’s 1,100-square-foot home at 3365 Fairburn Ave. on May 29, but they weren’t found until May 30.

The house, one of the few on the street, sits between Cypress Drive and Lamont Avenue.

Built in 1920, the brick rental is among the oldest in a neighborhood that flourished in the middle of the last century.

Though gunshots in the night are not unusual, bloodshed there on the little-traveled side streets a mile and a half or so north of Macon Mall is rare.

Even so, it was the spot Heard and Jarrell’s attacker’s chose to pounce, investigators said.

After the two victims were spotted at Wings Cafe, south across Eisenhower Parkway from Macon Mall, their alleged killers gathered at a nearby apartment “to sort of get their game plan together,” Davis said.

Some of the conspirators, he said, considered lawlessness “a job.”

But when things went south in the predawn gunplay on Fairburn, the sheriff said, the assailants turned tail.

They apparently hopped in their borrowed Dodge SUV -- the bleeding, dying Terrance Dent in tow -- and drove not to the nearest hospital but to the Houston Avenue neighborhood where one of their mothers lives.

Traveling east on Napier, cutting south at Pio Nono Avenue, crossing Eisenhower Parkway and then swinging over to Houston Avenue, it is about five miles to Grenada Terrace.

“To show what callous, heartless individuals these were ... and to show you there’s no honor amongst criminals ... where do they take him?” Davis said. “Way over here to Grenada Terrace and put him out.”

It was about 3:30 a.m.

“They left him down there and they left,” the sheriff went on, “and hoped they wouldn’t get caught. But they did.”

‘No family support’

All the alleged killers have rap sheets.

All have ties to the city’s south side, and at least two have been to prison.

Vincent Lewis, for one, has been arrested about two dozen times on charges ranging from theft to trespassing to obstruction, though many of the cases were dismissed.

In February 2008, he served about a year and half of a five-year prison term for assault. He was paroled in August 2009.

Lewis Cheney went to prison on a 10-year sentence in early 2009 for aggravated assault. He was released in September the next year.

Terrance Dent, according to one cop’s count, had been locked up in the county jail 17 times.

“That whole little crew has ... been doing that sort of thing for years,” Bibb sheriff’s investigator Carlos Stokes said.

Sheriff’s Lt. Shermaine Jones added, “It boils down to a simple fact of life choices that they’ve made. ... The circle they run in, they see it so much that it becomes their life. This is what they think is the norm.”

The dean of the county’s homicide cops, sheriff’s Capt. Jimmy Barbee, who has been collaring killers for four-plus decades, was peeved by something else.

Barbee shook his head at how the suspects, young men and some nearing middle age, “have no family support whatsoever. Their mamas don’t care, their daddies don’t care. And you can tell.”

He said, “Not one parent has called us to say, ‘Why have you arrested my son?’ They know why.”

Barbee, at a loss, said all the mother who owned that Dodge SUV getaway car -- since impounded as evidence -- wanted to know about was when she could get her vehicle back.

“That ain’t gonna happen,” Barbee said, “and you can tell her I said that.”

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