SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A nine-month-long police investigation has ended in several arrests and could lead to justice for five families in Savannah.
A grand jury has indicted seven people in connection to five homicides that date back to 2013.
The Savannah Police Department says back in June of last year, they started linking a series of people together that resulted in a 108-count indictment. The indictment resulted in the arrest of Osha Dunham, Nelaunte Grant, Cordell and Donnell Richardson, Malik McKenzie, and Jevon Williams.
Jahonne Manigo is still wanted.
“I sincerely hope that this sends a clear message throughout our community that we will not tolerate illegal gangs, guns, or drug activity in our community,” Police Chief Roy Minter said.
One of the homicide victims, Shawntray Grant, was a Savannah community activist. It’s just one of several crimes police say are connected to accused gang members in Savannah.
Osha Dunham and Nelaunte Grant are both charged with Shawntray’s murder. According to the indictment, investigators believe Grant was robbed at gunpoint and shot. He was killed outside of a Savannah apartment complex in June of 2018. He was the leader of the “Bullhorn Crew" and was an active member of the community against gun violence in city.
Alderman Van Johnson knew and worked with Grant.
“It’s so ironic that the very thing he fought against was the same thing that took him out,” Alderman Johnson said. “As a community, we are fed up and disgusted, and for quite some time, we said we were going to get justice for Puff, and today is certainly the beginning of that process.”
The attorney for the family of Shawntray Grant - Chadrick Mance - released the following statement Thursday:
“The family of Shawntray Grant wishes to thank members of law enforcement for their hard work and the community for their support following his death. Shawntray worked diligently to make Savannah a better place. He rallied for causes and wanted to ensure peace and harmony for our community. While nothing can bring him back, Shawntray’s family is thankful that those who took his life will be held accountable.”
Chief Minter thanked the community for their support - and the hard work of local law enforcement.
“We could not have done this without the support of our community members,” Chief Minter said. “While we work diligently on all of our investigations, we realized we need the community to continue to support us with tips and other information to help us resolve situations.”
These individuals face charges including murder, the street gang and terrorism act, robbery, aggravated assault, and other felonies.
Dunham faces felony murder charges in the deaths of Adearrin Jefferson, Robert Lee Jr., and Shawntray Grant. Nelaunte Grant also faces a murder charge in the death of Shawntray Grant. Police charged Cordell Richardson with murder in the shooting death of Eric Cooley. Jevon Williams faces a murder charge in the death of Jernard Burton.
“We are continually looking for those folks that have done something wrong in our community,” said Savannah Mayor, Eddie DeLoach.
Three other suspects also listed in the indictment are Donnell Richardson, Malik McKenzie, and Jahonne Manigo are all charged with violation of street gang terrorism and prevention act.
Police say six of the seven defendants in this indictment are gang members in the “Rollin 60s Crips” and “Shady Park Crips." Mayor DeLoach says gangs are an issue in our community.
“It’s prevalent in our community. It’s prevalent in our state and our country. It is a big issue for kids growing up this day and time, so whatever we can do to emphasize the fact that there is a better way, that’s what we are trying to do,” the mayor said.
Chief Minter says he’s proud of his department’s dedication because these investigations take time.
“It took a lot of long hours. There were a lot of interviews, search warrants, written reports, meetings, and other investigative steps that occurred to get us to this point,” he said.
We will continue to follow this story and bring you the latest updates.