MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – A woman charged with helping to set up a robbery that led to a fatal shooting last year lured the victim from a Tillman’s Corner motel room, a police investigator testified Tuesday.
Detective Rory Graves, of the Mobile Police Department, said surveillance video from the motel on April 26 shows Dejean Washington getting into a van driven by Maranda Shardae Gamble. He testified that a passenger in the vehicle is not visible in the video but that investigators believe it was Jermi Anrichio Adams, who is accused of firing the fatal shots.
Mobile County District Judge George Zoghby ruled Tuesday that prosecutors had presented enough evidence for a grand jury to consider indictments against Adams, 28, for murder and Gamble, 21, for felony murder.
“There’s a couple different locations involved here,” Mobile County District Attorney Keith Blackwood said outside the courtroom.
The victim and the two defendants knew one another, but the precise nature of their relationship remains unclear. Graves testified that Gamble gave conflicting information to authorities but eventually said that she overheard a conversation between Adams and someone else talking about a robbery.
Graves testified that Gamble believed the three were going to go to New Orleans first and then would return to the Prichard area but that they ended up going directly to the Plateau community. At that point, Gamble told investigators, Adams pulled out a gun and that Washington tried to grab it. She also told investigators that Adams pointed the gun at her, according to the testimony.
Police responding to Center Street and Wood Alley that evening found the 34-year-old’s body on the ground with four gunshot wounds. Graves testified that investigators found nine 9mm shell casings but not the murder weapon.
Gamble’s attorney, Chase Dearman, pressed Graves during cross-examination about whether there is any evidence suggesting his client fired the gun.
“To my knowledge, no,” the detective acknowledged.
Police put out a Be-On-The-Lookout for a van driving by Gamble, and sheriff’s deputies in Georgia arrested her during a traffic stop early the next morning. She was not charged, however. Graves testified that investigators wanted to talk to her but that she was not at that time a suspect.
Charges did not come until after police arrested Adams this month and Gamble earlier this month.
“Maranda Gamble is charged with felony murder because we believe that evidence tends to show that she intended to participate in the robbery that then led to the death of the victim in this case,” Blackwood said.
But Dearman said after the hearing that Gamble was not part of any criminal plot.
“In that car ride, my client overheard something to do with a robbery,” he said. “And she didn’t know when or how it would ever take place. They go to a place. They get out of a car. The guy pulls a gun, starts shooting and both the victim and my clients start running. And that’s the simplest of it.”
Under felony murder law, a person can be convicted if prosecutors prove that he or she was committing a crime – in this case robbery – that led to the victim’s death.
Graves also testified that text messages from Gamble’s cell phone indicate that she was in on the robbery planning. But Dearman argued that it was Adams using her phone.
Dearman sought to dispute any suggestion that Gamble was fleeing when deputies on Georgia’s Coweta County pulled her over at about 3 a.m. He said that is where his client’s mother lives.
“She was simply going home,” he said.
Original Article found here.
By Brendan Kirby
Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 5:25 PM CST