Gang member sentenced for shooting man mistaken for rival

JACKSON, Tenn. — Roughly four years after one person was killed, a man has received his sentence.

According to a news release, on March 6, Gerald Crossley, who was 16 at the time of the shooting in 2019, was sentenced to life in prison.

On July 27, 2019, officers with the Jackson Police Department responded to 38 Cinnamon Drive, where Cole Felton, age 34, was found shot and killed in a vehicle. A survivor who was also in the Tahoe was able to give a description of the shooter.

Investigators were able to use a canine to track shell casings by the Tahoe to the back yards of the street, where they found a handgun in tall grass behind 57 Cinnamon Drive.

Officers were able to find Crossley inside and tested his hands and a black hoodie for gunshot residue, which both came back positive.

The release says that video was found on Crossley’s phone, showing him holding the gun that was found in the yard.

Crossley was indicted in 2020 for first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assaults, and employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony.

The release says during the January 2023 trial, the Jackson Police Department Gang Unit identified Crossley as a member of the Ghost Mob set of the Vice Lord street gang.

The investigator with the Gang Unit stated that Felton, who was not a gang member, resembled a person living nearby who was a known member of the Crips, who the investigator said had a history of retaliatory violence with the Vice Lords.

The release says that video on Crossley’s phone also showed himself identifying as a member of the gang.

“This case was a tragedy for the innocent victim who was mistaken for a rival gang member,” said District Attorney General Jody Pickens. “Law enforcement in this community will continue to battle gang violence so that those who choose to engage in this anti-social behavior will be held accountable for the choices and decisions that they make. We know that we cannot return Cole Felton to the family that loved him but we hope that the verdict at least gives his family some measure of peace knowing that his murderer has been sentenced to life in prison where he will not be able to victimize the citizens of Jackson, Tennessee any further.”

The release says that Crossley was also sentenced to 26 years on the remaining charges.

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Categories: Crime, Local News, Madison County, News