Suspected gang members accused of Warner Robins killing

bpurser@macon.comJune 30, 2014 

WARNER ROBINS — Four suspected gang members from Atlanta are charged in connection with the killing of a Macon man as he pumped gas at a Booth Road station.

Thirty-two-year-old Monnie Joseph Brabham IV was shot and killed minutes before noon Jan. 23 at the pumps of Murphy USA near the busy super Wal-Mart. His silver 1996 Cadillac Fleetwood was stolen and later recovered by police. It had been abandoned in a nearby residential area.

Michael Montreal Gooden, 22, was charged with murder and participation in criminal street gang activity, according to a Warner Robins police news release. Clifton James Roberts, 29, Ameshia Cartis Cosby, 17, and Deondray Darnell Yarn, 18, were each charged with conspiracy to commit murder and participation in criminal street activity.

The four affiliate themselves with the One Eight Trey gang, which police say is not a Warner Robins gang, the release said. Brabham was not affiliated with the gang, the release stated.

Gooden and Roberts were among nine people indicted in the unrelated April 5 kidnapping of a North Carolina man whose daughter prosecuted a high-ranking Bloods gang member for ordering the killing of another man in 2011.

Gooden and Roberts were charged with conspiracy to kidnap Frank Janssen from his Wake Forest home and take him to Atlanta. Janssen was rescued shortly before midnight April 9 when the FBI stormed the Atlanta apartment where he was being held.

Kelvin Melton, who is serving a life sentence in the Polk Correctional Institution in Butner, N.C., is accused of using a cell phone that he illegally possessed to conspire with Gooden, Roberts and the others — including giving instructions on how to kill Janssen and dispose of his body, according to a news release from the Eastern District of North Carolina U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The April 22 federal indictment includes not only chilling details of the abduction but also that the kidnapping of Janssen was by mistake. The intended target was actually his daughter, Colleen Janssen, the Wake County, N.C., assistant district attorney who prosecuted Melton. Her father was abducted after the kidnappers went to the wrong address by mistake after searching for the prosecutor’s address on the Internet, according to the indictment.

Melton is accused of organizing and orchestrating the kidnapping team, which included Gooden and Roberts, while incarcerated. The other alleged team members included Quantavious Thompson, Jakym Camel Tibbs, Tianna Daney Maynard, Jenna Martin, Patricia Ann Kramer and Jevante Price, the indictment stated.

Gooden and Roberts are being held at undisclosed locations in connection to the kidnapping, with authorities declining to release their mug shots, said FBI spokesman Stephen Emmett. Meanwhile, Yarn and Cosby are being held in the Houston County jail without bond. Yarn and Cosby were arrested about 11 a.m. Friday in the 800 block of Fraser Street in Atlanta — the same address listed for Yarn in the Warner Robins police news release. Cosby lived in the 700 block of Fraser Street, according to the release.

The arrest was by the U.S. Marshal’s Service and the Atlanta Police Department. A handgun was recovered in the Atlanta home after the arrest, said John Edgar, a supervisory inspector for the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force of the U.S. Marshal’s Service. However, the weapon used in the slaying was listed as a shotgun in the Warner Robins police incident report.

The report states only that a Warner Robins police officer was dispatched to 505 Booth Road at 11:58 a.m. to investigate a report of shots fired. The address is for a Zaxby’s restaurant, which is next to the gas station.

The police report listed Brabham’s address in the 1900 block of Napier Avenue. In 2011, Macon police conducted a drug bust at the same address. A Monnie Brabham, who was 60 at the time, and Matthew Lorenzo Brabham, who was 19 at the time, were arrested in the raid, according to Macon police. Both men had prior arrests.

Marilyn Brabham, the victim’s mother, and other family members could not be reached for comment. Marilyn Brabham’s husband, Monnie Brabham III, died in March 2013 at age 62, according to his obituary. The couple had two other sons: Matthew Brabham and Kirk Brabham, Houston County Coroner Danny Galpin previously said.

Warner Robins police Capt. Chris Rooks, head of investigations, stated in an e-mail that no further information on the case was being released.

“The department just wants to inform the public that arrests have been made for those responsible for Mr. Brabham’s death,” Rooks stated. “I know there is a lot of interest in this case, because of Mr. Brabham being killed in a heavily populated area.

“It is important that we protect the facts of this case as we continue to investigate and work with the District Attorney’s Office in preparation for prosecution,” Rooks stated.

Anyone with information about the killing is asked to call the Warner Robins Police Department Criminal Investigation Division at 302-5380.

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