James Duke III (l.) and Jordan Martin
A judge has ruled that prosecutors have enough evidence to try two teenagers charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action for the March death of their classmate.
Prosecutors allege that fights between Jordan C. Martin, 18, and Kody Ray, 17, at Hillcrest High School and Battlefield Mall led to Ray being shot at his 5 year-old brothers birthday party.
According to court records, Martin had made threats against Ray, because he was afraid he was a snitch and was going to testify against him in a pending court case. Investigators say that no such case had been filed.
Prosecutors allege that James Duke III, 18, fired three shots that killed Ray-- one in the shoulder and one behind each ear--while Martin waited in a car near the crime scene when the shooting took place.
Duke told detectives he didn't know Ray, and that he went to the young man's house with a gun he had recently found to settle the beef between Martin and Ray. He said in an interrogation interview that he had heard that Ray had access to weapons and was affiliated with a gang. He said he drew his weapon when Ray rushed to shake his hand because he thought he had a weapon.
Duke and Martin, who have been held without bail in the Greene County jail since their arrests, had their bond set at $1 Million dollars each at today's hearing.
The duo are scheduled to be arraigned in circuit court on Friday May 21st.