Testifying under oath, a Macon church deacon described Jedarrius Treonta Meadows as being “attentive” and “respectful” when he encountered him in the five years prior to Meadows’ arrest on a murder charge.
Joe Arrington, a Bibb County deputy coroner and operations manager at a local mortuary, said he never heard of Meadows being involved in crime or a gang.
He said he met Meadows in 2009 while serving as a Sunday School teacher and a van driver who gave young people rides to Wednesday night activities at Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church.
“It shocked me when I heard about this incident,” Arrington testified during a Thursday bond hearing for Meadows, 18, who is charged in the Feb. 22, 2014, shooting death of Damion Bernard “Little Petey” Clayton, 16, at a Macon Little League field on Anthony Road.
When questioned by the prosecution, Arrington admitted he didn’t know Meadows had been arrested twice in 2013.
The judge didn’t issue a ruling Thursday, but asked the attorneys to schedule a meeting with him. He indicated he might be inclined to set a bond if the case will stretch into next year.
Meadows, 17-year-old Roland Rah’Saun Watson and 18-year-old Trayvon Xavier Starks are each charged with murder, armed robbery and violating the state’s gang act.
All three are alleged to have also taken cash from Clayton, who was found at the ball field with gunshot wounds to his head, torso and arm. He died later at a local hospital.
Clayton allegedly was the intended target of a shooting three months earlier on Cedar Avenue that instead claimed the life of a 16-year-old girl, Alyssa Zari Jackson, who her family members have said had been talking with Clayton just before the shooting began.
Prosecutors have said they plan to take Watson and Starks to trial before Meadows.
Contacted Thursday, prosecutor John Regan said he plans to announce that he’s ready to take Watson to trial during the August trial term -- a four week term that begins Monday.
Jay Davis, Meadows’ attorney, said he is requesting special permission to file a motion for speedy trial. If the motion is granted, prosecutors will have a hard deadline for when Meadows must be tried. If the deadline isn’t met, he’ll be acquitted.
“We are at this point opposing any motions for continued continuances,” Davis said.
Meadows, Starks and Watson are each being held at the county jail without bond, according to jail records.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398 or find her on Twitter@awomackmacon.