By Ed Brock
They met at a steak restaurant on Metropolitan Parkway and planned the robbery that would lead to the death of a 2-year-old boy, police say.
Shakeila Danuaralle Hampton, 33, and Michael Anthony Hendrix, 32, of Atlanta, along with 20-year-old Kearndric David Smith and 38-year-old Freddie Lamar Floyd, are accused of felony murder and conspiracy to commit a crime, according to Clayton County Police Capt. Jeff Turner. Hampton and Hendrix are also charged with giving false information to police when questioned about the botched robbery that led to the shootout that killed 2-year-old Xavier Miranda on Feb. 10.
Those four people are the ones who recruited 18-year-old Torrin Desmond Reese to force his way into the residence in Hunter's Bay Apartments in Forest Park to steal the tax refund money Xavier's parents had just received.
Hampton had helped the family obtain the refund and knew the money would be at the apartment.
Smith and Floyd were arrested around 11 p.m. Monday at their apartment on Riverdale Road and Hendrix later turned himself in. Hampton was already in jail on another charge.
All four were in Clayton County Magistrate Court Tuesday afternoon for their first appearance hearing in which the charges against them were officially read to them. Security was extremely tight as a result of a confrontation between Xavier's mother, 22-year-old Chimere Calloway, and other family members and Reese's supporters at his first appearance on Monday.
Turner said Floyd and Smith approached another man before going to Reese to be the gunman in the robbery. That other man turned them down.
Floyd and Smith drove Reese to the apartment and Reese went in after Hendrix dropped Calloway off and left with Hampton. Apparently Floyd, Smith and Reese did not notice that Calloway had also left to go shopping, taking the money with her.
"That's what caused the robbery to be botched," Turner said.
Hendrix is a father of eight and the other three also said they were parents. All of them asked for and received a court appointed attorney.
No family from either side appeared at Tuesday's hearing and it finished quietly.
Sheriff Victor Hill said he called the family members before the hearing and told them that a repeat of Monday's scuffle would not be tolerated.
"The courtroom is not Jerry Springer," Hill said.
Xavier's father, 22-year-old William Miranda Jr., and other family members did not return a phone call seeking comment.
Clayton County police officers arrested Reese without incident around 2:50 a.m. Saturday at a residence on Summerbrook Road, Clayton County Police Capt. Jeff Turner said. Turner said Reese admitted to his involvement in the robbery in which Xavier was killed.
During that incident a man came to the apartment in Hunter's Bay Apartments where the family lives and forced his way in around 7:10 p.m. He demanded money and at one point grabbed Xavier, held the gun to his head and started counting down.
A relative entered the apartment and interrupted the robbery, shortly after which William Miranda and the robber exchange gunfire. Xavier was hit in the neck.
Reese is charged with murder, aggravated assault and kidnapping. Initially Calloway said she didn't want Reese to receive the death penalty, saying he was too young.
By Monday she had changed her mind.
"I want him to get the death penalty, period," Calloway said. "I want him to die."
Those words sparked Monday's confrontation. Gerald Rose, head of Cobb County-based New Order, who organized a demonstration at Hunter's Bay in support of Xavier's family, said he told Calloway that he was "very, very disappointed" by Monday's events.
Rose said he also wants to reach out to the families of the people accused in the case.
A preliminary hearing for all five suspects has been scheduled for April 28 at Clayton County Magistrate Court in the Harold R. Banke Justice Center in Jonesboro.