Lakeland teen ager murdered - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lakeland teen ager murdered

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By Alicia Eakin - bio | email

September 4, 2008

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - A South Georgia teenager was gunned down during a fight Wednesday night.

Eighteen-year-old Demono Nelms of Lakeland died after he was shot in the chest,  Now, a 23-year-old man from Washington, D. C. is in police custody 

News spread fast that Demono Nelms, known as 'MoneyMo,' had been gunned down Wednesday night. 

"I thought it was a joke.  I wanted it to be a joke but this morning I found he lost his life," says Slaton Cribb.

His family says he was on his way to see his three day old son.  But he never made it.

"The suspect and the victim got into a struggle outside a mobile home," says Lakeland Police Chief Robbie Grantham.  "During the struggle the suspect shot the victim."

He was shot in the chest and died just feet from his final destination.

His family and friends say his death is a tragic loss for Lakeland.  "He's a big leader.  All the kids look up to him.  he's one of my best friends of all time," Cribb adds.

Nelms had just started school again after briefly dropping out.  The young father was trying to get his life back on track.

"He had lingered off at one time but he started coming back to church and he was excited about turning his life around," says Nelms' Pastor Velma Calhoun.

"He was just getting back in school.  Changing.  Playing basketball, football.  An awesome football player.  Just a good person," adds his brother Jermaine.

He was a star athlete at Lanier County High School and had big dreams to go pro.

"I guess everybody has dreams of being professional but he actually had the talent to be professional," Cribbs says.

"That was his goal and I feel that was taken from my child," says Demono's mother Linda.

This is the third murder in this neighborhood in the last four months.  The community says something must be done.

"There seems to be nothing for our young people. Especially our minorities.  There's no community center, no boys club or anything to come bring a positive influence," Calhoun adds.  "Something has to be done and I believe it starts at home with the parents and then spreads abroad.  And Law Enforcers here, I welcome them to ride our streets more."

"It worries me," Chief Grantham adds.  "We are looking at things, what we can do."

So the community won't have to endure any more loss of life. "He was my baby boy," says Linda Nelms.  "Its unbearable as a mother.  I've never been through anything like this and I don't wish this on my worst enemy."

No charges have yet been filed against the 23-year-old in police custody.

There were two other murders in Lakeland-- 49-year-old Robert Williams was shot in the chest and killed in May. His killer is in jail. 44-year-old Norris Miller was shot and killed in July off of Talley Avenue. His shooter is still on the loose.