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Teen, 17, charged as adult
Conyers resident arrested in shooting death of friend

CONYERS - The juvenile accused of accidentally shooting and killing a Newton High School student while riding home in a vehicle with a group of teenagers has been charged as an adult and will have his case heard in Rockdale County Superior Court.

According to Rockdale County District Attorney Richard Read, a hearing before Juvenile Court Judge William Schneider was held March 10. Schneider signed an order dated that same day to transfer the case from Juvenile Court to Superior Court.

"Several factors went into the decision, including facts and circumstances surrounding the shooting and the juvenile's behavior after the shooting," Read said Wednesday.

Kenneth Jerome Hixson, of 2133-A Hickory Bend in Conyers, was 16 at the time of the crime. However, he turned 17 at the end of March, and as a result was booked in the Rockdale County Jail. He has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless conduct, underage possession of a pistol or revolver, carrying a pistol without a license and wandering or loitering between midnight and 5 a.m.

According to the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office, five males - all 18 years of age or younger - were traveling back from Club Fusion, a nightclub in Midtown Atlanta, on Interstate 20 and had just crossed into Rockdale County from DeKalb County when Hixson, who was seated in the rear passenger seat of the GMC Suburban, fired a 9mm gun he was holding. A bullet struck front-seat passenger Terrence J. (T.J.) Dorsey, 17, of Covington in the back. Hixson told authorities he believed the safety had been engaged and did not intend to fire the weapon.

Aimee Jones can be reached at aimee.jones@rockdalecitizen.com.