Two men linked by Columbus police to a Labor Day homicide were indicted Monday on murder charges, court records state.
A Muscogee County grand jury indicted Marquise Roberts, 21, and Tray Thomas, 19, in connection with the fatal shooting of Gerald Hatchett, 18, in the East Highland neighborhood.
In addition, Roberts was indicted on a charge of theft by receiving stolen property. The SUV he’s accused of driving the night of the shooting belonged to the U.S. government, court records state.
Police have said that the suspects intended to shoot 17-year-old Jessie Favors, who’s identified Thomas as the shooter.
Favors and Hatchett had been among several people sitting in front of 1519 25th St. when a man identified only as “T.J.” drove up in a Honda Civic and asked whether someone there would return it, Favors testified in Columbus Recorder’s Court. He said he volunteered, and drove off in the car.
He dropped a passenger off on 27th Street and was returning to the 25th Street residence when he passed a dark SUV at 16th Avenue and 28th Street, he said. The SUV made a U-turn and followed him, and when he got out of the Civic on 25th Street, the SUV, occupied by three people, stopped there, he said.
Favors and the SUV’s occupants exchanged taunts, and someone in the SUV said, “Get him, bro,” detectives said. Then Thomas, a passenger in the SUV’s right, rear passenger seat, fired four or five shots at Favors, who ran behind a house, officers said.
Favors was not injured, but Hatchett was hit in the head as he got up to run. He died in the street in front of the house next door, leaving his 1-year-old daughter fatherless.