MGM teen will serve time in jail
Markeith Hart has struck a plea deal in connection to a June 2012 shooting in the 200 block of Harriett Street in which he is accused of being the shooter.
Hart, 17, was in Vance County Superior Court Tuesday in front of Judge George Collins Jr. Hart agreed to a charge of felony assault inflicting serious injury for the June 6, 2012, incident.
Prosecutors said Hart was the drive-by shooter in a car with at least two other member of the Money Gang Mob, a criminal organization now with 10 people having been sentenced and another half-dozen pending in the court system.
Three primary witnesses included Jermaine Hargrove, Jaquan LaMorris Bobbitt and Clayton Batchelor Jr. Hargrove, 25, was shot and injured in the incident. Bobbitt, 21, fired back at the vehicle.
Batchelor, a 14-year-old who lived on Harriett Street, was found shot to death a month later, on July 4 at 3:30 a.m.
Allison Capps, the assistant district attorney, said she doesn’t believe Batchelor’s death was directly related to the Harriett Street shooting probe.
Collins accepted dismissal of three additional charges against Hart and ordered him to serve a year to two years in prison. He also pointed to another person in the case going through the federal court system as a warning signal to Hart.
According to testimony, Robert Ross drove the vehicle, Deshawn A. McKinley helped and Hart sat in a rear seat.
“The car came past them at a slow speed,” Capps said, adding that Ross turned into a convenience store parking lot and swung back around. “The car came slowly back. Mr. Hart, who was in the back seat, pulled out a gun and started shooting.”
Ross has a pending case in federal court, according to Capps.
“They were all part of a larger investigation into a gang called the Money Gang Mob,” Capps said.
Collins asked Hart, “Do you understand the difference between this court and federal court?” Collins said. “Mr. Ross will probably be an old man by the time he is released.”
Ross is scheduled to appear in federal court in Raleigh on Dec. 2 for a four-count indictment on heroin distribution charges.
McKinley accepted a plea deal in August on a charge of being an accessory to the felony shooting, receiving a year to two years to serve.
Capps said the federal charges are not directly related to what happened in the shooting case, but Ross’s extensive criminal history will be taken into account at sentencing.
“We withdrew the charges against Ross in response to the federal case against him,” she said.
Hargrove and Bobbitt also have felony convictions along with pending cases in Vance County courts.
Capps said Hargrove, as the primary victim in the case, agreed with the terms of the plea deal.
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