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Gang member indicted for deadly shootout in east Athens

Jeffrey Oneal Rice

By Joe Johnson

An Athens gang member has been indicted for his alleged role in a deadly shootout last year in a parking lot off of Gaines School Road in east Athens.

Jeffrey Rice, 26, was charged in the 16-count indictment with murder, and multiple counts of aggravated assault, violating the state’s anti gang statute, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

The indictment was sought by Attorney General Chris Carr’s Gang Prosecution Unit, and it was filed on Friday in Clarke County Superior Court.

“With our new Gang Prosecution Unit, we are using all resources at our disposal to disrupt the growing gang networks that are terrorizing our communities and putting people at risk,” said Carr in a statement released by his office. “This latest indictment is the result of our strong partnership with the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, as we work together to ensure that those who engage in violent crime are held accountable for their actions. “

According to police and court records, Rice was a member of the Red Tape street gang who on Oct. 22, 2022 traded gunshots with 18-year-old Deneritus Wilson in an area between Citgo station on Gaines School Road and the Goodwill Store in the Willowood strip mall off Lexington Road. Wilson was killed.

Rice was a suspected driver for the shooting, according to police.

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