Motion filed to dismiss murder charges for Jerry Chambers, Jr.
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Attorneys for Jerry Chambers, Jr. want felony murder charges against him dropped and filed an official motion to the presiding judge months ago.
Chambers is accused of killing three people in the City Market area of Savannah last Fourth of July.
In addition to those felony murder charges, Chambers faces vehicular homicide charges, among others.
One of Chambers' attorneys, Bob Attridge, argues that there are state statutes that say his client shouldn't face vehicular homicide charges and felony murder charges at the same time.
In a portion of the motion filed by the defense to Judge James Bass' office, Chambers' attorney says:
In Counts 1-3 of the indictment, the State alleges that Mr. Chambers committed felony murder on July 4, 2017 by causing the deaths of Scott Waldrup, Spencer Stuckey, and Gabriel Magulias during the commission of the felony offense of fleeing and attempting to elude a police officer, a violation of O.C.G.A. 40-6-395 (b) (A).
The statement continues saying:
These three counts should be dismissed because: 1) proceeding on these counts contravenes the Georgia Constitutional requirement of separation of powers, and (2) proceeding on these counts is contrary to Georgia's established rules for statutory construction.
The state argues the charges should stay through the trial, with a sentence only being handed down on the felony murder charges.
Judge Bass said today he'll make a decision on whether or not to grant the motion, taking both sides' arguments into consideration.
No trial date has been set yet.
This whole Fourth of July incident allegeldy started as a rival gang dispute.
Investigators say the City Market violence was gang-related. In fact, we know one of the teen victims who was critically injured that night was a member of a rival group called the "1100 gang".
We are not naming the teen but in City Market surveillance video, investigators say the teen was one of the victims who was shot.
In one police report, a Savannah-Chatham Metro Police officer said the teen had been shot in the neck. He was a 9th grader from Building Bridges and told the officer, "he didn't want to die and tried to push our hands off him in a panic."
The teen also told the officer to tell, "his mother that he loved her and that he was going to die."
That teen has since recovered but he is now behind bars in a juvenile detention center for charges unrelated to the violence in City Market.
His attorney told us back in September that the teen has a history of being involved in gang activity. In fact, the teen's half-brother was killed in September by a rival gang.
The DA's office says their violent crimes and gang-related cases in juvenile court have increased over the years because if a juvenile commits the crime, they get less time.
However, the DA's office has been working with state lawmakers to try to get the law changed and increase the punishment for juvenile offenders.
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