Kenneth Eric Jackson of Decatur, Georgia, who is the leader of Sex Money Murder Bloods gang, was indicted Tuesday for the shooting death of a 9-month-old baby boy after allegedly ordering a hit on the child from his prison cell in “retaliation for the death of another gang member,” reported 11 Alive.
It was reported that after Jackson ordered the hit on the baby boy, several members of the Sex Money Murder Bloods gang — Devin Thomas, Marco Watson, and Christopher Florence — allegedly forced their way into a home on Lani Farm Road on May 10, 2014, where a 9-month-old baby boy, KenDarius Edwards, Jr., and three women, including the child’s mother, were located.
— National Post (@nationalpost) May 19, 2016
According to statements, the gang members wore masks as they forced the three women and the child into a bathroom and began opening fire before fleeing the scene. The three women sustained non-life threatening injuries during the shooting, but unfortunately for baby Edwards, he died before paramedics were called to the scene.
“You’re talking about a nine-month-old helpless child, and three women who tried to protect that child,” the DeKalb County Chief of Police Cedric Alexander said.
“This was a ruthless act ordered by a gang leader looking to spread fear and intimidation,” said the DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James. “We are in a war with gangs in DeKalb County, and too many innocent people are being hurt. This is not your county. Get out or face the consequences.”
Prior to the fatal shooting, it was reported that Jackson used a “contraband mobile phone while incarcerated at Autry State Prison to order a hit on a baby in retaliation for the death of another gang member, 29-year-old Michael Phillips, who was killed by the child’s uncle,” Oslushla Smith.
On May 3, 2015, just weeks before baby Edwards was gunned down in his home, his uncle, Smith, was involved in a verbal altercation that quickly turned fatal when he reportedly pulled out a gun and opened fire, killing an “unarmed and innocent bystander, Phillips.”
Smith was later arrested and pled guilty to killing a member of the Sex Money Murder Bloods gang. He received a life sentenced, plus 40-years in prison, reported the Daily Mail.
After the 9-month-old baby boy was killed in a gang-related tragedy, Alexander made a promise to the child’s family, stating that “one thing that I promised them is we were going to find resolve to this case, and we did. It took us some time, with the help of the District Attorney’s office and the help of our partners. That’s the reason we are here today.”
“We are at war with organized street gangs. This is a war that we have to win. This is a war we intend to win,” DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James stated.
Following the KenDarius Edwards, Jr’s shooting death, Jackson, Florence, and Watson were charged with “malice murder, felony murder, multiple counts of aggravated assault and violation of Georgia’s Street Gang and Terrorism Act.” However, Florence and Watson were slammed with an additional charge: “possession of a gun by a felon.”
— WBIR Channel 10 (@wbir) May 18, 2016
It was reported that after Thomas’ sentencing, he read an apology statement in court, saying “I can’t bring anyone back and I know what I did was wrong. I felt like this was the best way to give my life for KenDarius. I just want to ask you guys to forgive me, and I’m sorry.”
However, the child’s mother, Tanyika Smith, wasn’t so forgiving. She stated that she “thought saying sorry would relieve something, but it didn’t because that’s not bringing my baby back. I’m happy he did say sorry and stepped up.”
“Ever since May 10 I don’t look at people the same. I barely go places, I’ve got PTSD. I really just want my baby.”
[Image via DeKalb County Sheriff]