Local News

June 20, 2014

Police: Botched drug deal ends in murder

Teen, 16, arrested; two others sought

Something evidently “went wrong” during a marijuana deal at a Dalton apartment complex late Wednesday night.

Today, one person is dead from a gunshot wound to the chest and three people are charged with or wanted for felony murder.

The Dalton Police Department on Thursday arrested Endy Becerra, 16, for felony murder related to Wednesday night’s shooting death of Abel Carmona, 20, of 1408 Nolan Road, while two others are being sought on felony murder charges. Tywon Jay Henderson, 17, of 1300 Autumn Court, and Marquis Dequan Tanner, 20, of 110 Mallory Drive, were with Becerra at the drug deal at 214 N. Easterling St. when the shooting happened, police spokesman Bruce Frazier said.

Both are wanted on warrants for felony murder. As of late Thursday night, investigators had not determined which of the suspects shot Carmona, who was killed in the parking lot of the apartment complex on North Easterling Street.

Dalton detectives determined that Carmona went to the apartments with two friends, Roberto Lopez and Marcus Soto, “in order to buy a large quantity of marijuana,” Frazier said.

“Something apparently went wrong during the deal leading to the shooting,” Frazier said.

Lopez, 20, of 124 Montrose Way, was later arrested after investigators determined that he lied to them during his interview.

Becerra is listed in recent Dalton Middle School yearbooks as having attended the school. It was not immediately known if he attends high school. In one Dalton Middle School yearbook, he lists deceased rapper Tupac Shakur as his “hero.”

At about 11:40 Wednesday night, Dalton officers were dispatched on a shooting call to Easterling Street. When officers arrived they found Carmona lying on the ground in the parking lot of the apartments.

Witnesses at the scene told officers that the shooter fled in a small, dark-colored sedan. Carmona was being attended to by Lopez and Soto, who were trying to stop his bleeding from a gunshot wound to his chest. Carmona was unresponsive and was later pronounced dead at Hamilton Medical Center.

Officers secured the crime scene and began interviewing witnesses. Detectives worked throughout the night and into the day Thursday with the assistance of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and investigators with the Chatsworth Police Department and the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force, which includes officers from the Murray County and Whitfield County Sheriff’s Offices and the Calhoun Police Department. Information developed through the course of the investigation led detectives to Becerra.

Easterling Street, in east Dalton, runs from Morris Street to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Along the street are single-family homes, churches and businesses, including several that are carpet-related.

At about 9 a.m. Thursday, the scene of the shooting at the apartment complex was much quieter than the early morning hours. Late Wednesday night and into the morning, police had cordoned part of the parking lot as they and the Georgia Bureau of investigation processed the crime scene.

The yellow police tape was gone by late Thursday morning. A woman pushed a baby in a stroller though the parking lot, while another woman sat on the steps leading to her apartment. Later Thursday afternoon, residents of the apartment complex were hesitant to talk about the shooting.

Yazmin Gracia said she and her family were in their kitchen Wednesday night when they heard a noise.

“We thought that a car had hit another car and took off,” she said. “At first, we weren’t going to check. But we heard a woman scream, and when we went outside, there was a man on the ground.”

Gracia said she did not recognize the man.

Gracia said she had lived at the complex for “a couple of years” and nothing like that had happened before. She said the neighborhood is “for the most part” safe and doesn’t have much crime.

“We’ve had a couple of fights but no shooting,” she said.

The complex is just a block away from the Mack Gaston Community Center. Several people visiting the center Thursday afternoon said they were unaware of the shooting.

Charlie White, manager of the apartments, said Carmona was not a resident of the complex. Detectives told him they did not believe whoever shot him lived there either, he said. White said he did not know anything else about the shooting.

“I’m still waiting to talk to detectives and get more information before I say anything else,” he said.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Detective Jason Bishop at (706) 278-9085, ext. 214.

This is the third death resulting in murder charges in Whitfield County this year.

Last month, a Whitfield County grand jury indicted Skyy Raven Marie Mims, 21, in the stabbing death of Dahyabhai Kalidas Chaudhari, who was 37 and working at the Hi-Tech Fuel gas station at 3385 Airport Road when he was killed on March 9.

Also last month, a Whitfield County grand jury indicted Orlando Ramirez, 20, Fernando Antonio Resendiz, 21, and Jovencio Vega-Garcia, 20, all of Dalton, for the murder of Bruno Rodriguez and the attempted murder of Daniel Maldonado-Flores at Las Delicias Bar at 511 E. Morris St. on March 23. Rodriguez was shot to death.

Las Delicias Bar is about a half mile from the apartment complex where the Wednesday night shooting happened.

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