Suspects to face grand jury

Published 9:48 pm Thursday, May 20, 2010

The cases of two Selma men charged with capital murder are headed for the grand jury.

District Judge Bob Armstrong sent the cases of Brandon Lewis, 24, and Aaron Lawrence Harris, 23, to the grand jury when it convenes again. Armstrong also ordered no bond for the two men.

“This kind of behavior in the community is so out of control and ridiculous,” the judge said as he announced his decision. “It’s absolutely ridiculous.”

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The grand jury will hear evidence against the two men and decide whether to issue a bill of indictment against them. A bill of indictment is a formal document written for a prosecuting attorney charging a person with some offense, in this case capital murder, because the two men are charged in the shooting death of Rosjah J. Butler Jr.

Butler bled to death after a bullet believed by Selma police detectives ripped through the wall of Butler’s house through the pillow of his bed, pierced into the 3-year-old’s chest and tore the aorta, an artery leading to the heart and exited out his back. The child bled to death.

Butler was pronounced dead at Vaughan Regional Medical Center.

Detective Frederick Walker of the Selma Police Department testified during the 30-minute hearing about the investigation, which lead to the arrests of Lewis and Harris. Police continue to search for two other suspects Johnny Lee Dukes and Michael Dershawn Hunter.

Walker told the court he took a statement from Lewis shortly after the suspect’s arrest. At the time, said Walker, Lewis told authorities Harris, he, Dukes and Hunter were in a green 2000 Dodge Intrepid borrowed from Harris’ brother. They left GWC Homes, went to Church’s Fried Chicken, then over to Church Street.

Walker said Lewis told investigators Dukes pulled the weapon and began firing at the house located at 1411 Church St.

Lewis told authorities Butler’s uncle, Glenn Williams, had purchased some marijuana from Harris. Williams confronted Harris at GWC Homes, saying the marijuana was bad and he wanted his $200 back.

The confrontation escalated, according to Walker’s testimony.

Walker also told the court the evidence unit at the police department recovered four 9 mm casings from the front of the house, one slug from inside the house and 13 from the middle of LL Anderson Ave., which intersects with Church Street.

The defense called Williams as a witness during the hearing, but Butler’s uncle took the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination when asked if he had a gun at the time of the shooting or if he saw who fired the shots from the car.

Williams said he had stepped outside the house to the front to call a girl. “Somebody in my phone book,” he said.