Gang case sees most serious charges dropped

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By Kenny Colston

A case that started with eight individuals being charged with participating in gang activity is being resolved with plea deals involving probation and the dismissal of the most serious charges.

Back in October, La Grange Police arrested and charged six La Grange residents, Donnie Lane, Keaton Lee, Felix Myers, Gabrielle Beach, Roger Wilson and Brandon Davis, with participating in organized crime, as well as several drug-related charges and unlawful transaction with a minor. They also charged Shelbyville residents Thomas Wenz and Casey Endicott with similar offenses.

But at their individual hearings last week, more than half of those eight individuals took plea deals that dropped the organized crime charge, instead pleading guilty to the drug charges.

Myers, Davis, Wilson, Wenz and Beach all settled their cases on June 5, but their charges all varied between plea agreements.

Myers plead guilty to disorderly conduct first degree, as well as possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana. As part of the agreement, Myers was sentenced to time already served.

According to his attorney, Rob Riley, Myers only received a disorderly conduct charge, instead of the unlawful transaction with a minor offense he was originally charged with, because Myers was only in the raided home briefly before police started making arrests.

During his ordeal, Myers had been arrested a separate time on alcohol charges and took multiple trips to an alcohol rehab facility, before being kicked out for noncompliance. Myers spent the remaining time in Oldham County Jail and gave indications after his hearing that he would return to rehab after being released.

Davis took a similar plea, admitting guilt to charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana, as well as unlawful transaction with a minor second degree. The plea allows diversion for the unlawful transaction charge, which if completed would remove the felony from Davis’ record. He will also concurrently serve two years of probation for the other charges.

Wilson and Beach took the exact same plea deals as Davis did during their hearings. Wenz, often accused of being the leader of the eight who were at one time accused of being part of the Southside Crips gang, plead guilty to both drug charges, as well as attempted unlawful transaction with a minor. He was also given probation for two years and must enter a court-ordered treatment program.

The others involved are continuing their cases a little longer. Lane will have a suppression hearing on June 18 and has a tentative trial set for September. Lane, who was been in jail for a violation of his bond release, asked and was granted release again.

Lee’s attorney said he was still negotiating a plea agreement for his client, who was arrested at his hearing on an active bench warrant related to charges of DUI and possession of synthetic marijuana. His next court date is July 3.

As for Endicott, his case had yet to proceed to circuit court, after asking for a competency hearing in district court. County Attorney John Carter dismissed his charges in district court in order for a direct indictment, but one of Endicott has yet to occur.

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