Felony murder arrest warrants were issued Friday for two men in connection with the shooting of an 8-year-old boy in Fort Valley.
The warrants are against 25-year-old Dennis Eason of Fort Valley and 21-year-old Tevin Sams of Lizella, according to a Fort Valley Police Department news release issued Friday.
Eason was being held Friday in the Jefferson County jail in Alabama awaiting extradition. He was arrested and charged with terroristic threats while boarding a Greyhound bus in Birmingham, Alabama. Sams was expected to be booked into the Peach County jail late Friday after he was interviewed by Fort Valley detectives.
“We are pleased that the investigation is progressing in a positive direction,” Fort Valley’s Public Safety Director Lawrence Spurgeon said in the release.
Spurgeon declined to comment Friday night.
The terroristic threats charge is based on an accusation that Eason sent a text message to De’Jad Williams, the 22-year-old boyfriend of the boy’s mother, about an hour before shots were fired about 1:40 a.m. Tuesday into Williams’ apartment through the front door.
Jai’mel Anderson, who had stayed up late to watch television, was in his pajamas on an air mattress in the living room when he was fatally wounded. Williams was taking care of the boy and his 6-year-old brother while their mother was at work.
On Thursday, Williams was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and probation violation, police said.
The charges against Williams are based on evidence seized after a search warrant was executed at the crime scene, according to the release. Williams was picked up by Fort Valley police Thursday afternoon, questioned and formally charged a few hours later.
Williams is on first offender status for a 2013 terroristic threats/actions conviction in Houston County, court records show. Being on first offender status means the conviction would be removed from his record if he successfully completed his five-year probation.
He also has an unresolved 2012 armed robbery charge from Peach County in which he has not been indicted. The case has not been prosecuted for lack of victim cooperation, said Macon Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Bobbitt.
Williams told The Telegraph on Tuesday that about an hour before the shooting at his apartment he received a text message telling him to come outside and fight.
He thought it was his cousin joking around, so he ignored it and went to bed. Residents reported seeing two men running from the apartment after the shooting, he said.
Spurgeon lauded cooperation among multiple law enforcement agencies and help from the public. The investigation is ongoing, with police asking anyone with information about the incident to call 478-825-3384.
Meanwhile, two events have been planned for Saturday to remember Jai’mel, a third-grader at Westside Elementary School in Warner Robins who also played recreation football. His jersey was No. 8, and he made the league’s all-star football team, the Raiders, in 2014.
What was originally envisioned as a vigil has evolved into a “Rally in the Valley” community cookout and fellowship at 1 p.m. at Indian Oaks Apartments, organizers said. A candlelight vigil is planned for 6 p.m. at the gazebo in downtown Fort Valley.
Jennifer Burk contri-buted to this report.