Houston & Peach

Testimony: Co-defendant tells girlfriend Eason fired through door where boy was sleeping

'He said DJ, DJ did it,' witness testifies of who fired into apartment with sleeping boy

Katelyn Grandison testifies that her former boyfriend told her that Dennis "D.J." Eason fired into an apartment where a boy was sleeping inside Jan. 6 of last year. Her former boyfriend, Tevin Sams, Eason, and Kristian Wipfel are on trial in Peach
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Katelyn Grandison testifies that her former boyfriend told her that Dennis "D.J." Eason fired into an apartment where a boy was sleeping inside Jan. 6 of last year. Her former boyfriend, Tevin Sams, Eason, and Kristian Wipfel are on trial in Peach

A former girlfriend of one of the men charged with murder in the fatal wounding of an 8-year-old boy testified Friday about what she saw and heard.

Katelyn Grandison testified that Tevin Sams left their Macon apartment with a handgun to get some marijuana and returned early in the morning without the gun.

She later learned about the shooting the same morning of Jan. 6, 2015, at Indian Oaks Apartments and that a boy, Jai’Mel Anderson, had died.

Jai’Mel was struck twice when bullets flew through the steel front door of Apartment 2-E where he was lying on an air mattress in the living room.

Grandison said she asked Sams about it that night. He was acting down, and he cried when he told her what had happened, she said.

Sams, 22, is on trial in Peach County Superior Court, along with Dennis Eason, 27, of Fort Valley, and Kristian Wipfel, 21, of Macon.

“He (Sams) said D.J., D.J., did it,” Grandison told jurors of who fired through the front door of the apartment.

D.J. is Eason’s nickname.

Sams also told Grandison that he and Wipfel were there when the shooting happened, Grandison said.

“(Sams) did say that he was standing next to Kristian,” Grandison told jurors.

Grandison’s testimony conflicted with that of another witness from earlier in the week. Co-defendant Darrelle Garvin told jurors that Sams fired first through the door, followed by Wipfel.

He and his cousin, Jeremy Jackson, drove Eason, Sams and Wipfel over in two cars to Shiloh Baptist Church, next to Indian Oaks Apartments.

Eason, Sams and Wipfel took a path from the church to the apartments, and Eason was in sight and headed back to the cars when the shots rang out, Garvin said.

Later, he learned that Sams and his close friend, Wipfel, had fired into the apartment not knowing that a boy was inside. Garvin told jurors that Eason had instigated the shooting by egging on Sams and Wipfel.

The shots were fired through front door over a beef Eason had with De’Jad Williams over some marijuana, Garvin testified.

Williams, 24, who was dating Jai’Mel’s mother, was taking care of the boy at the time of the shooting. Williams is pending trial on a charge of murder in the second degree in the boy’s death.

Williams is accused of encouraging and engaging in threats and aggravated assaults involving a firearm by exchanging text messages with Eason shortly before the shooting. Garvin testified that Eason used his cellphone to text Williams about the marijuana Williams owed him. He wanted his money or his product, Garvin said.

Garvin, 22, and Jackson, 26, both of Macon, previously pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault in connection with boy’s death. Both were originally charged with murder. Their truthful testimony at the co-defendants’ trials was part of their plea agreements. Sentencing is pending.

Testimony is expected to continue Monday before Judge Tripp Self.

Becky Purser: 478-256-9559, @BecPurser

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