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Fri, Oct 31, 2014

Walmart murder suspects arraigned

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Two Antioch brothers were arraigned Monday on first-degree murder charges in the late January double shooting deaths of two Murfreesboro men in a Walmart parking lot off Old Fort Parkway.

Danarius Coleman and his brother, Demetrius, both originally from Chicago, waived the reading of their indictment and entered not guilty pleas before Circuit Court Judge David Bragg. Court dates for their cases are set for Aug. 1 and Aug. 20.

They are accused in the Jan. 29 shooting deaths of Latre Lillard, 19, and Andre Chesterfield, 19, of Murfreesboro, whose bloody bodies were found in the store parking lot off Thompson Lane.

Both men are being held in Rutherford County jail on $750,000 bond, and the proceedings were done via video.

Bragg appointed the public defender’s office to defend Danarius in the case and Murfreesboro attorney Guy Dotson Jr. to defend Demetrius. The judge previously released another local attorney from Danarius Coleman’s case because of a conflict of interest within his law firm.

The Colemans are no longer being represented by Tillman Payne and Derrick Scretchen, who handled their cases in General Sessions Court.

Following the second attorney’s recusal, Assistant District Attorney Paul Newman may be asked to refile a motion to obtain a court order to get the password to Danarius’ Coleman’s iPhone, according to Bragg.

It is considered central to the case for several reasons. The defendant showed his girlfriend cell phone video of blood and brains in their car and glass shot out, according to her court testimony.

Murfreesboro Police found one victim’s cell phone, and the last number it received was a 733 area code matching Danarius Coleman’s cell phone number, according to MPD Detective Larry Maples’ testimony in General Sessions Court.

Detectives arrested Danarius in Antioch and traced Demetrius to Chicago by using his cell phone number, Maples said in court.

Danarius denied knowing the shooting victims and told police he didn’t know how their number got in his cell phone, Maples testified. In fact, Danarius told police he had never been to Rutherford County.

Maples’ said his investigation found that Chesterfield and Danarius Coleman met Jan. 25 and exchanged several calls and text messages over the next few days.

Cell-phone records showed the defendants and victims exchanged text messages shortly before the time of the murder, and cell tower records traced Danarius Coleman’s phone to the Walmart parking lot, according to Maples.

Danarius Coleman’s girlfriend, Ladorothy Morrison, testified in the March preliminary hearing that he told her he was getting ready for “an easy takedown” in a drug-deal robbery and later admitted he killed two people.

Morrison testified she was working at Steak & Shake in Antioch that night when Danarius texted her and told her “something horrible happened” and he needed her to be with him.

Morrison said she when he met her at his apartment that night he was carrying a bloody garbage bag and then told her about the murder and showed her cell-phone video from the shooting scene.

“He basically said it was either him or them because they had guns on them, too,” she testified.

Police targeted the Colemans as suspects after Demetrius reported his vehicle stolen the next morning. Authorities found the vehicle burned up and with some of the windows blown out.

Danarius Coleman was arrested Feb. 5 at his Antioch apartment, and Murfreesboro Police arrested Demetrius Coleman two weeks later in Chicago with the help of authorities there.

 

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