Defendants waive preliminary hearings

By Ed Brock

The defendants charged in the shooting death of a 14-year-old Forest Park High School student waived their right to a preliminary hearing.

An attorney for 18-year-old Quadarrion Nelson, charged with murder and aggravated assault in the April 22 shooting of Krystal Williams, announced his decision to waive the hearing after unsuccessfully moving to have television news cameras removed from the courtroom.

Bruce S. Harvey said he was concerned that some of the testimony to be present by police officers at the Tuesday morning hearing would not later be admissible at trial.

"If that testimony isn't going to be admissible I wouldn't want the public to be tainted with it," Harvey said.

Nelson and his codefendants, 15-year-old Ricardo Pinder of Forest Park also charged with murder and aggravated assault, Roderick Lamar Didone, 17, of Forest Park who is charged with false report of a crime and Devin Brandon Mashburn of Morrow, also 17, charged with tampering with evidence, did not appear in court. Their attorneys also waived their rights to a hearing.

"I have discussed this with Mr. Nelson and he has authorized me to state his position," Harvey said.

On the night of the shooting Williams was at a birthday party on Conley Drive where several fights broke out. The hostess was sending the partygoers home when another person began firing shots into the air.

Turner said that following that Nelson, who was in a car with the other defendants, began firing through the sunroof of the car with a .380 caliber handgun. He then sat back down in the car and Pinder gave him a 9 mm gun.

Nelson fired the 9 mm into a crowd of fleeing partygoers and one of the bullets hit Williams in the head, Turner said. She died the next day at an Atlanta hospital.

Harvey also told Clayton County Magistrate Court Chief Judge Daphne Walker that the aggravated assault charge against his client was not justified because there was no intent to shoot Williams and that reckless conduct would have been a more appropriate charge.

Nelson's family was at the hearing, including his mother Lalynn Bailey who in previous televised reports said her son was acting in self defense and was firing at boys with whom he had been fighting over a girl.

Williams' mother, Michelle McWhorter, also came to the hearing.

A spokeswoman for the Clayton County District Attorney's Office, Barbara Fernandez, said the state expects to present charges against Nelson, Pinder, Didone and Mashburn to a grand jury today.

Clayton County Police have also arrested a 16-year-old in connection with the case and say he is the one who fired the first shots into the air. The teen, whose name was not released due to his age, was charged with involuntary homicide, reckless conduct and discharging a firearm near a highway.

His case is being handled by Clayton County Juvenile Court and is set for trial on Friday.

Police are seeking a fifth person in connection with the shooting, a male who jumped into the Cadillac with Nelson and the others as they drove away from shooting.