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JPD Arrest Six People in Beating Death of Antwan Brooks

By Modupe Idowu
By midowu@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. - Jackson Police have arrested six people they believe are connected to the murder of Antwan Brooks, the man found dead in a West Jackson neighborhood last weekend.

Brooks died August 5 after police said three to four men within a crowd began to beat Brooks from behind. Investigators said another eight to 10 more men joined in on the beating, taking turns hitting and kicking Antwan Brooks. Police said during the incident, Brooks shorts were taken off and thrown over a nearby basketball goal. His cell phone was also stolen.

Terrel Reid, Jonique Merriweather, James Roberson, Michael Smith, Frank Massengill, and Byron Purdy have been arrested and indicted for first degree murder and felony murder.

7 Eyewitness News spoke with Brooks' mother just moments after news of the arrest. Cynthia Williams said she is elated because her son's funeral is Saturday.

"I was so ecstatic, I mean just I was just ecstatic. I immediately felt just a little bit of peace because I know there are more out there. but it gave me jut a little bit more peace to know that they had the sum bags," said Williams.

Lt. Tyreece Miller of the Jackson Police Department said because the case was so unique the district attorney's office allowed a grand jury to meet Friday morning, returning indictments on the six suspects. Miller said the arrest come after a new multi-jurisdictional violent crime and gang task force unit.

"They went out with a mission, and they went out and rounded up six very violent people. And some are documented gang members of the Gangster Disciples Street Gang," said Miller.

All six men are being held at the Madison County Jail without bond. The date for them to be arraigned in Madison County Circuit Court has not yet been set.