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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Document May Shed New Light On 2005 Unsolved Murder Of Four Huntington WV Teens

Federal Appeals Court Document Alludes To Killers By Name..by, Jack Swint - Publisher

According to federal court documents, On July 25, 2005 Shannon Dennis gave a voluntary statement to detectives that he had witnessed “T” aka Jamal Douglas murder the four victims. Dennis also admitted that he threw the murder weapon in the Ohio River and he admitted that they left the area in a white 1987 Chevy Monte Carlo with gray interior. On Friday July 25th, 2005 Detective Hunter identified “T” as Jamal Douglas during a traffic stop in 1600 block of 9th Ave. (fed document linked below)

History Of Case

On Saturday May 21, 2005 four teenagers were making plans to celebrate important milestones in their lives. Michael Dillon was anxiously waiting his date later in the evening to take Megan Poston to the Huntington High School Prom. Earlier in the day Mrs. JoAnn Clark dropped off her son Eddrick at the corner of 9th Avenue and 15th Street so he could meet up with Donte Ward so both teens could celebrate their birthdays together that night. How all four teens even knew each other and why they were in front of Donte’s home at 1410 Charleston Avenue at 4:30am Sunday morning is still a mystery to police, family and friends.
As the group gathered together in the dark hours of morning someone swiftly approached from out of nowhere and shot all four to death. Then just as quickly, the cold-blooded killer disappeared back into the darkness. Neighbors said they awoke around 4:30 a.m. to several gunshots. Shortly after, they said they heard Poston pleading for her life, and then another gunshot. “My daughter heard her begging not to be shot,” said Christy Thomas, who lives next door. To date their murders have not been solved.

Police felt they knew who may have ordered the murder of one of the victims and the other three teens were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. They say their "strongest theory" is that Donte Ward might have been the target of violence from Detroit-based criminals, and the others were killed to eliminate witnesses. To this date, these murders have publicly gone unsolved.

Federal Appeal Case Brings New Info

According to statements within a July 2007 unpublished opinion and ruling made by the US Appeals Court in Richmond VA, the police may still be sitting on evidence that is more than just their “strongest theory.” As stated above, some of that evidence is reportedly to be a signed confession from the killer’s accomplice, who named JAMAL LARONNE RAY, a/k/a Jamal Douglas, as the shooter who actually killed all four teens over a drug debt? Shannon Dennis admitted that he witnessed the killings and drove the getaway car. He also told police he threw the murder weapon into the Ohio River.

In the federal appeals case (No. 06-4747), Ray was challenging the search warrant the state used to enter his residence after the murders. The Appeals Court decided that the weapons seized from Ray’s residence was justifiable because…"In the instant case, there was sufficient evidence of probable cause that defendant was involved in the four homicides." Jamal LaRonne Ray had entered a conditional plea of guilty to the crime of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon after police seized the two firearms. 
He was sentenced to 34 months in federal prison. He has never been charged with the murders, and the two seized guns, and conviction were not linked directly to the murders. Ray was released from federal prison in July of 2009.

Federal Appeals Court Based Its Decision On

(1) There was Shannon Dennis’s statement to law enforcement, even if tainted by his complicity in the murders. (2) the corroborating statement from the cooperating witness. (3) the Huntington Police Department (HPD) accident report of July 14, 2005, confirming defendant drove the suspected getaway vehicle – a white 1987 Chevy Monte Carlo bearing West Virginia tag 7JC-620. The car was allegedly painted blue after the homicides and the accident but before the search. (4) at the time of the application for the search warrant, the fact that the suspected getaway vehicle was parked in front of defendant’s residence.

According To Police Statements Contained In Appeal Record:

On July 5th 2005, Det. R. Knight received information from a co-operating witness that a Shannon Dennis bragged about driving a suspect vehicle involved in the homicide to the scene and to throwing the murder weapon into the Ohio River. On July 14th, 2005 a cooperating witness provided information that a B/M named T or Trouble, later identified as Jamal Douglas, stated that he murdered the four victims over a drug debt owed by Ward. Shannon Dennis gave a voluntary statement to Detectives that he witnessed 'T' aka Jamal Douglas murder the four victims. Dennis admitted that he threw the murder weapon in the Ohio River. Dennis admitted that they left the area in a white Chevy Monte Carlo, 1987 model with gray interior. WV Tag Number 7JC-620.

Dennis also told police that Ward had been shot in retaliation for taking a large amount of marijuana from Cherylethia “Bunny” Holmes. Holmes admitted to investigators that she had been robbed of marijuana from her apartment on Charleston Ave. On July 5th, 2005, Det. R. Knight received information from another co-operating witness that Shannon Dennis also bragged to him about driving the suspect vehicle involved in the homicide to the scene and away after the shooting. Dennis also bragged to that informant that he threw the murder weapon in the Ohio River. On Friday July 22nd, 2005, Detective Hunter identified 'T' as Jamal Douglas during a traffic stop in 1600 block of 9th Ave in the same vehicle Dennis had described as the get away car. "The listed vehicle has been painted blue since the time of the homicides." At the time of the warrant vehicle is parked in front of 1891 Marshal Ave.

In Closing,

Is the Federal Appeals Court written decision old news to police and the victim’s families? Or, does this document hold new information that never surfaced because it was an “UNPUBLISHED” case and never made it to the law books or media’s attention. According to The Federal Bureau of Prisons online inmate locator, Jamal Ray was released from jail on July 20, 2009. According to police statements offered into evidence to the Appeals Court, Shannon Dennis not only admitted his involvement in the murders, but he also named the alleged trigger man and the car they both used to get away and later dump the murder weapon in the Ohio River.

Where is Shannon Dennis and Jamal Ray today? Did Dennis actually confess to the murders? name the trigger man? and all just walk away with murder??

End Of Story…

Jack Swint – Publisher
E-Mail: WestVirginiaNews@gmail.com

Website: http://WVNewsOnline.com
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