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Hearing set for six charged in Dadeville mass shooting

Six suspects charged with four counts of reckless murder. (WBMA){p}{/p}
Six suspects charged with four counts of reckless murder. (WBMA)

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UPDATE: A Tallapoosa County Judge ordered all suspects held without bond until trial.

Tallapoosa County District Attorney Michael Segrest said he believes all the suspected shooters in last weekend's mass shooting in Dadeville are in custody. Five are being held in the county jail while an unidentified 15-year-old suspect is in juvenile detention. All are charged with four counts of reckless murder.

Four people were killed in the shooting at the 'Sweet 16' birthday celebration and another 32 were injured. No motive has been released.

READ MORE: Three more arrested, six now in custody in connection to Dadeville mass shooting

Next Tuesday, there will be an Aniah's Law hearing to determine if the suspects will remain in jail without bond until trial. Segrest said evidence will be presented at the hearing.

That will be followed by preliminary hearings at a later date and grand jury hearings for indictments. Segrest said additional charges will be brought before the grand jury related to those injured in the shooting. Four victims remain hospitalized.

Segrest said investigators wanted to get the suspects in custody as quickly as possible and there is still a lot of evidence and information to sort through. He declined to comment on specific details of whether any weapons were recovered.

An attorney for one defendant declined to comment on the case.

Criminal defense lawyer Tommy Spina is not connected to the case but he explained reckless murder is a very serious charge. Because a gun was used in the crimes, if convicted, the defendants face 20 years in prison to life which is the same sentencing range as intentional murder, according to Spina.

Spina said we don't know a lot about the factual details of the case at this point because law enforcement is withholding information to protect the investigation so they don't jeopardize their case.

Spina describes a reckless act as when "a person was aware of a substantial risk of harm that might be caused by their behavior and consciously chooses to disregard that risk and act anyway." He said spraying bullets in a crowded room is a reckless act.

SEE ALSO: Family and friends remember shooting victim

"If people act in concert with one another, it's in effect a partnership in crime," Spina said. "You would be responsible for the acts of your co-conspirators... if those acts were reasonably foreseeable."

There are also questions about if the trail will be moved out of Dadeville due to all the pre-trial publicity in the small town.

"It's not about whether you heard about the case. It's about whether you can be fair and judge the case based on the evidence that comes from the witness stand and not because you have some preconceived notion of guilt or innocent," remarked Spina.

He tells us the defendants could be tried together or separately. Prosecutors generally favor trying defendants at once while defense attorneys push for separate trials. He explains if one defendant is more culpable in the crime you would not want that evidence to apply to another defendant.

The six suspects were arrested over the past few days:

  • 20-year-old Johnny Letron Brown of Tuskegee
  • 19-year-old Willie George Brown Jr. of Auburn
  • 16-year-old Travis McCullough of Tuskegee
  • 17-year-old Tyreese 'TyReik' McCullough of Tuskegee
  • 20-year-old Wilson LaMar Hill Jr. of Auburn
  • An unidentified 15-year-old
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