Six Arraigned on Murder Charges in Beating Case
7 Eyewitness News Staff
JACKSON, Tenn. - Seven documents gang members were appeared before Judge Don Allen in Madison County Circuit Court, Tuesday. Each faced charges of first degree murder and felony murder.
Each of the men, who are professed members of the Gangster Disciples street gang, were indicted last week by a specially called grand jury in the beating death of Antwan Brooks.
But by the end of the arraignment, only six of the seven men were actually charged. Prosecutors announced they were dropping all charges against Byron Purdy, but reserved the right to bring him back before the judge at a later time. According to investigators, Purdy remains a suspect.
There was no wavering on the charges charges against Michael Smith, Terrel Reid, Jonique Merriweather, Exavier Ingram, James Roberson and Frank Massengil. Each of them pleaded not guilty and were ordered to remain in the Madison County Jail without bond.
Investigators say other people have also been indicted and they are actively searcing for them. "We believe that others were involved," said Lt. Tyreece Miller of the Jackson Police Department. "There's still a lot of work to do on this case."
A reason for the alleged attack has not been made public. Brooks' family was in attendance but chose not to comment following the hearing.
A preliminary hearing for all six men is scheduled for September 12.