By Joe Johnson
A Clarke County grand jury this week indicted an Athens man for murder in the shooting death of a teenager seven months ago.
Kenyas Trevion Yearby, 21, of Summerbrook Circle was charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a first-offender probationer, according to the indictment filed Tuesday in Superior Court.
According to Athens-Clarke County police, Yearby fatally shot 15-year-old Keshawn Gainer on Dec. 3, 2020 between the 100 and 200 blocks of Westchester Circle, the same street on which the former Cedar Shoals High School student resided, according to Athens-Clarke County police. Police arrested Yearby on Dec. 8, but they have never released a motive for the killing.
Gainer’s body was found Thursday morning at a fence in the wood line across the street from his home on Westchester Circle, with the fence located behind some apartments on Cole Manor Drive, according to a police incident report.
An officer described in the report that Gainer’s arms were extended out in front of him, as though he had been reaching for something.
He had a wound to the side of his neck that was described in the report as “a gouge,” in which muscle tissue was exposed.
The report noted that a bullet cartridge casing was located near the victim’s feet and another was found nearby at the crime scene.
At the time of the alleged murder, Yearby was on probation for an arrest three ago, when he was found in possession of a loaded gun on the Clarke Central High School campus in April 2017.
The gun was found in Yearby’s backpack, along with a cellphone that he allegedly robbed the previous month from a 16-year-old girl.
The armed robbery allegedly occurred at the Holland Youth Sports Complex off Vincent Drive, where Yearby reportedly arranged to meet with a 16-year-old girl who had advertised that she was selling an Apple iPhone 6s.
After the girl gave the $700 phone to Yearby so he could inspect it, Yearby reportedly refused to give it back and showed the girl and her companion that he had a pistol tucked into his pants waistband.
Yearby was initially charged with possession of a firearm on school grounds and was later indicted on the additional felony offenses of armed robbery, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime, possession of a firearm by a person under 18 years old.
According to court records, Yearby and the Western Judicial Circuit DA’s office struck a plea bargain in which the armed robbery charge was dismissed and he pleaded guilty to the remaining charges.
In accordance with the plea deal, a judge handed Yearby a 12-year sentence with the first two years suspended upon completion of 12 to 15 months in the county Diversion Center’s work-release program and the balance to be served on probation.
Since his arrest for killing Gainer, Yearby has been detained at the county jail without bail.
He is scheduled to be arraigned on Aug. 30.