Dukes, Hunter in jail with no bond

Published 11:21 pm Thursday, June 3, 2010

SELMA — Two Dallas County men are in jail under no bond after appearing in district court Thursday to hear charges against them in the shooting death of a 3-year-old boy.

Johnny Dukes and Michael Hunter made their first court appearance since they were arrested in Albany, Ga., last week.

Hunter and Dukes are the last two suspects in the killing of Rosjah J. Butler. Both are charged with capital murder.

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Dallas County District Judge Bob Armstrong denied the two men bond and set their next court appearance for June 24.

“There are consequences to reckless and lawless behavior,” the judge told the two men. “This is outrageous behavior. Outrageous. There is a 3-year-old boy dead because of it.”

Brandon Lewis and Aaron Harris were arrested shortly after the shooting April 27 at 1411 Church Street.

In a statement to Selma police detectives, Lewis said Dukes was the man with the gun who fired toward the house.

A bullet ripped through the walls of the house, into the bedroom of Butler and pierced the toddler’s chest as he stood by his bed. The child bled to death after the slug ripped a major artery leading to the heart.

During Thursday’s hearing, Selma police detective Tory Neely recounted the highlights of the interview with Lewis.

Neely said detectives also questioned Harris, who, Neely said, told authorities Dukes sat beside him on the passenger’s side of the front seat of the green 2000 Dodge Intrepid they were in that night.

Neely said Harris told detectives Lewis was on the back passenger’s side and Hunter was on the back driver’s side as they drove down Church Street.

Glenn Williams, the toddler’s uncle, was in the front yard of the house on Church Street when the shots were fired.

Neely testified Williams said he and Harris had argued earlier in the day over the quality of some drugs Harris had allegedly sold Williams.

A week ago, when he took the stand, Williams 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.

Dukes and Hunter would not talk to detectives without an attorney present.

Thursday, Alston Keith was appointed by the court to represent Hunter. Garrison Thompson was appointed by the court to represent Dukes.

Keith asked Neely why Hunter was charged with capital murder when his client was not armed.

“It was still early in the investigation,” Neely answered. “The investigation is still ongoing.”