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Texts lead to motive in Jefferson H.S. football star’s slaying


By Joe Johnson

Two teens who are accused of murder in the shooting death two months ago of a star football player for Jefferson High School reportedly were trying to rob 17-year-old Elijah DeWitt.

According to Gwinnett County police, Kemare Bryan and Chandler Richardson, both 19 and from Lawrenceville, were looking for someone to rob the night of Oct. 5 at the Sugarloaf Mills shopping mall in Lawrenceville.

Kemare Bryan
Chandler Richardson

DeWitt was with friends at the Dave & Buster's arcade and sports bar located at the mall, where he met the two suspects days before the killing, according to police.

During the first encounter, on Oct. 3, police said, Bryan and Richardson approached DeWitt and his friends to ask if they could buy marijuana, and there was an apparent subsequent deal that did not involve DeWitt, who was a standout senior wide receiver for the Jefferson High School Dragons.

According to police, Bryan and Richardson were at Dave & Buster’s two days later when they recognized DeWitt and and attacked him in the parking lot, where Bryan allegedly shot DeWitt when the victim tried to fight off the assault

The suspects fled the state, according to police, who said they used surveillance video and phone records when tracking them to Anderson County, S.C., where they were arrested and each charged with felony murder, malice murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

After Bryan and Richardson were extradited back to Gwinnett County, a preliminary hearing was held in which police said a detective testified that text messages revealed that the suspects had been looking for someone to rob at Sugarloaf Mills on Oct. 5 and that DeWitt was in the wrong place at the wrong time.





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