Suspect in weave shooting connected to 2010 shooting death

CONYERS — One of the men arrested in connection with the fatal shooting during an armed robbery last week has ties to another fatal shooting in Rockdale County.

James Wansley Edwards, 21, of 5231 Traci Drive in Stone Mountain, was arrested Friday, along with 20-year-old Brandon Jay Lamothe of 987 Locust Drive N.E., Conyers, and 19-year-old Damani Carta Young, of 1129 River Tusk Place in Conyers.

Edwards and Lamothe are believed to have been involved in the armed robbery of two people selling hair weaves on Dec. 11 that resulted in the shooting death of 21-year-old Jennifer Menzies when the armed robbery victims apparently fired back at the alleged robbers. Menzies was reportedly struck more than one time. She was taken to Rockdale Medical Center where she was later pronounced dead.

Soon after the shooting, Covington resident Christina Menzies, 19, of 60 Oakwood Lane, was arrested on a charge of being a party to a crime of armed robbery, along with 20-year-old Jaquan Mareek House of 210 Odyssey Turn in Conyers, who was charged with armed robbery.

U.S. Marshals tracked down Edwards and Lamothe at Young’s home Friday morning. Upon arresting the two, investigators noticed that Edwards had an injury to his left leg that he claimed was due to being hit by a car.

Edwards, who was charged Friday with armed robbery, had been arrested in 2010 in connection with the shooting death of Dequavious Mapp. Mapp was killed on Nov. 14, 2010, when shots were fired into a crowd of teenagers who were gathered for a birthday party at a house in the Preserve at Travers Creek subdivision. A 15-year-old and a 16-year-old were also shot, but they survived their wounds.

Soon after the shooting, Edwards and another man, Tevin Aqwunray Williams, who were both 18 at the time, were arrested in connection with Mapp’s death. Williams and Edwards both admitted firing weapons during the party. Both weapons and the bullet that killed Mapp were sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Ballistics tests revealed that the bullet did not match either of the guns fired by Williams and Edwards. To date, the murder weapon has not been found and no murder charges have been filed.

Williams and Edwards were, however, charged with 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 since the weapon he used was reported stolen out of Rockdale County.

The charges against Edwards were dismissed in November 2011. According to the Notice of Dismissal filed by Rockdale County District Attorney Richard Read, Edwards had been in jail for almost a year at that time and there was insufficient evidence “to overcome Edwards’ claims of self-defense and/or defense-of-others,” Read stated in the dismissal.

“More importantly, however, Edwards does remain a person-of-interest in the death of Dequavious Mapp,” the dismissal continues. “A prosecution of Edwards on the above-listed charges at this time, whether successful or unsuccessful, would create a double jeopardy concern should later evidence establish that Edwards was involved in causing Mapp’s death.”