Judges sentences, banishes gang member convicts - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Judges sentences, banishes gang member convicts

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –   Two convicted gang members were sentenced to ten years in prison and banished from Dougherty County for their role in a gang shootout at a crowded South Albany swimming pool.

Prosecutors say tough sentences like this are helping the fight against gangs in the community.

Prosecutors say 25 year old Tchywaskie Jones and 25 year old Dabkowski Luke are members of the Southside Bloods, and told Judge Willie Lockette that they should serve long terms in prison for their role in the June 16, 2009 shooting at the Carver Swimming Pool when they tried to ambush members of the A-Tre-Crips.

"This was a shootout," said Dougherty Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Matt Breedon. "A needless shootout that was over nothing."

 Investigators say Luke's girlfriend and his child were hit in a fight with Crips girlfriends at the Pool earlier in the afternoon and two car loads of Bloods went to retaliate. Prosecutors say it was amazing that only one person was shot in the hail of gunfire. 

"One round from a 22 caliber shot by Tchywaskie Jones, 11 rounds fired by Jerry Harris, two rounds fired from a shotgun. And through all of that parents and children running and ducking for cover,0" Breedon said.

Jones and Luke were sentenced to serve 10 years in prison for gang participation and aggravated assault, and cannot return to most of South Georgia for 20 years.  "You are banished from Dougherty County and all counties that are adjacent to and connect with geographically Dougherty County for the entire period of your sentence," Judge Willie Lockette said.

Prosecutors say tough sentences like these are cutting gang violence. "In the last three years we've had 57 convictions on gang crimes, handed over a thousand years of prison time down to these gang members, and it's sending a very strong message to them,"  Breedon said.

 Two other men have pleaded guilty in connection with this shooting, Jarney Evans, who was sentenced to three years in prison, and Brandon Taylor, who was given probation.

One A Tre Crip gang member, Jerry Harris, was to be sentenced today, but his attorney could not attend the hearing because of health reasons. Harris will be sentenced next month.


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