Four teenagers arraigned in armed robberies|2 men indicted in meth-cooking

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 30, 2010

The criminal cases against four Vicksburg teens accused of robbing pedestrians at gunpoint last spring progressed a step Friday as they were arraigned in circuit court after being indicted this week by the Warren County grand jury.

Blake R. Reed, 18, 2501 Culkin Road, Apt. G8; Conti Tillis, 17, 1110 Fayette St.; DeShawn Montellodel Williams, 17, 119 B Elizabeth Circle; and Jacory Terrell Wright, 17, 1405 Locust St., face a number of counts of armed robbery in as many as five separate instances on May 4, 5 and 7.

Williams also faces one count of strong-armed robbery from an incident May 11.

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Another teen arrested with them, Sha’Kayla Caples, 19, 414 Ford Road, a stand-out on the Warren Central High School girls’ basketball team for four years, has been given immunity from prosecution as long as she testifies against the others in court.

The teens were reportedly members of a gang known as “K-3.” Three other members of the gang, including Caples’ first cousin, have also been charged with the shooting death of 25-year-old Antonio Turner on March 15. Caples is expected to testify in that case, as well.

The grand jury also indicted two Vicksburg men who are accused of cooking highly-volatile methamphetamine in a home with a 4-year-old child present.

Sherman Brewer, 29, 1208 Mallet Road, and Jimmy Cogan, 32, 119 Lovers Lane, were arraigned Friday and face charges of manufacture of a controlled substance.

When Brewer and Cogan were arrested Aug. 11, they were also charged with child endangerment, police said. District Attorney Ricky Smith said the grand jury added an enhancement of the meth cooking charge for “manufacturing in the vicinity of a child,” rather than a separate indictment.

Smith said the enhancement can double the sentence Brewer and Cogan face if they are found guilty by a jury or enter a plea. The manufacturing charge carries a potential 30-year prison sentence, he said.

Brewer and Cogan’s arrests followed by one week the sentencing of a Vicksburg couple found guilty of manufacturing meth in their home on Cherry Street with their two daughters present.

Dudley and Bethany White were given 31- and 29-year prison sentences, respectively, by Circuit Judge M. James Chaney.

The grand jury was empaneled Monday with Chaney presiding, and completed its service Thursday. Jurors indicted defendants in 88 cases and issued 8 no-bills for not enough evidence to continue prosecution.

Indictments are not made public until the accused have been arraigned. Additional arraignments are expected Monday.

Contact Pamela Hitchins at phitchins@vicksburgpost.