3 face judge in connection with fatal shooting

Photo by Tori Boone

Photo by Tori Boone

CONYERS -- Three men arrested in connection with last weekend's fatal shooting at a Conyers house party appeared in court Monday morning before Rockdale Chief Magistrate Judge Clarence "Rudy" Horne.

Conyers Police responded to gunfire just after midnight Sunday at 1228 Tree Leaf Lane in the Preserve at Travers Creek subdivision.

Jeavoye A. Jones, 21, Tevin Aqwunray Williams, 17, and James Wansley Edwards, 17, were arrested shortly after the shooting. Jones reportedly owns the house where the party was going on. Williams and Edwards fired handguns into the crowd, according to arrest warrants.

According to court proceedings Monday, fights broke out as the party progressed Saturday night into Sunday morning. The fights led to the shooting of three men, with one of the shootings resulting in the death of 18-year-old Dequavious Mapp of Conyers. The two other injured men were 15 and 16 years old and were also Conyers residents.

Williams and Edwards each face charges of reckless conduct, aggravated assault, discharge of a firearm on or near a public highway, and possession of a pistol by a person under 18 years of age. Williams was also charged with theft by receiving stolen property as the weapon he allegedly used was reported stolen out of Rockdale County. Jones was charged with keeping a disorderly house.

None of the men currently face murder charges.

According to arrest warrants, alcohol was involved at the party, and Horne asked about it during Monday's first appearance hearings. Jones said he did not allow the party-goers to drink.

"I made sure of that," Jones told the judge.

Jones had no previous convictions, and the bond for his charge of keeping a disorderly house was set at $1,000.

Horne set a bond hearing for Williams and Edwards for 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Saturday's incident marked the second shooting homicide in Conyers within a week. Both incidents involved young black men.

Gregory Vann, director and founder of the Boyz to Men of Honor mentoring group, acknowledged the pattern. Vann pointed to single-parent households, the need for acceptance and other outside issues that may be provoking the violent behavior.

"Bullying has a lot to do with these guys carrying these guns and the need to be protected ... just in case something should happen," Vann said. "When they go out, a lot of them feel threatened."

Vann's group works with ages 10 to 18 in hopes of preventing violent behavior through mentorship and character-building.

"We understand that we have a lot of angry boys that are coming through," Vann said. "I find out they are angry and bitter because they don't understand why they're rejected."

Lack of a father figure could make young men question just who they are and make them susceptible to negative outside influences, Vann explained.

"A lot of these young boys could be missing the element of having a father figure in their lives," Vann said. "In our research and talking with these boys, they're really hurt by that and they feel rejected."

Vann said in mentoring sessions they talk about different situations and about making good decisions.

"In order to change any of this, we have to formulate relationships," Vann said. "I think that's key."

At least 75 local boys are involved in the Boyz to Men of Honor ongoing program, which includes a meeting every Friday night, social events and other activities.

For more information, call Vann at 404-749-6567 or e-mail him at gvann@b2mh.org. The public can also call Maurice Batson at 678-643-1353 or e-mail at mabatson@b2mh.org.