8 teens indicted on charges of unlawful gang activity

Teen gang members in court Friday morning in Augusta

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Eight Augusta teens were indicted on charges of unlawful gang activity in connection with a shootout in June on Thames Place.

Dijon Cortez Abbott, 17, LeDarius Connell Montgomery, 17, LaGrandes Orlando Montgomery, 19, Jordan Jamal Lovett, 18, Jerome Marquise Smith, 19, Marquise Deion Lewis, 17, Nicholas Antwone Lockhart, 17, and Michael DiQuez Scott, 18 were all indicted on charges of unlawful gang activity.

Investigators say the teens were involved in a June 29 shootout on Thames Place that was part of a dispute between two gangs.

Abbott was also indicted on charges of murder and malice murder in connection with another shooting in July that took the life of 19-year-old Marquez Eubanks.

Investigators also say the teens were also involved in a July 21 drive-by shooting in the 3600 block of Brussels Street that was also the result of a dispute between two rival gangs.


Update 8/2/2013

Eight teens appeared in court today for several charges including reckless conduct and unlawful street gang activity.

Investigators said they are the men connected to a gang that is responsible for several shootings in the area - including one in June that claimed the life of 19-year-old Marquez Eubanks.

Investigators said they believe the shootout was part of a dispute between two gangs.

Nicholas Lockhart, Marquis Lewis, LaGrandes and LeDarius Montgomery were all granted bond.

Jerome Smith, Jordan Lovett and Michael Scott were denied bond.

Richmond County Sheriff's Office investigators say these 3 teens had guns, after being caught on surveillance video.

A parent of one of the teens didn't want her identity revealed but did speak to us. She said this is just unfair.

"I'm very upset. I think they took a situation and made it a lot worse than what it was. They picked out four guys in our neighborhood and considered them gang members. My son, they took him because he had a prior record."

The mother said he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and he was working really hard to get his life together.

'He graduated, would be starting Augusta Tech, and he has a job at night. He works night shift."

Despite what happened in the courtroom today, she said she will work hard to clear her son's name.

UPDATE 10:36:

Two house party shootings and a drive by shooting are now connected.

They happened on different days and different streets, but police now say they have one thing in common: gang violence.

Sgt. Michael McDaniel, internal affairs, said, "We can confirm these three shootings were connected to two groups and those eight people have been arrested in connection to the shooting."Behind bars now are Ledarius Montgomery, Lagrandes Montgomery, Jordan Lovett, Jerome Smith,Marquise Lewis, Dijon Abbott, Nicholas Lockhart and Michael Scott.

But fighting the violence doesn't start when an arrest is made.

The Sheriff's department is reaching out to kids, to get them off the street.

The community is pitching in, too.

Sgt. McDaniel says it was them coming forward that made a huge difference and will continue to make a difference down the road.

"Rest assure,we're going to continue working."


Eight local teens are behind bars tonight following several gang related incidents.

The first incident happened on June 29 when Richmond County Deputies were called to the 3300 block of Thames Place in reference to a large party and gunshots being fired. Deputies were unable to determine the full extent of what occurred because others at the party would not cooperate with the investigation. No evidence was initially located either.

Deputies were later called back to the area and located shell casings in the surrounding area.  Portions of this incident were later found to have been captured on a private citizen's home video surveillance system.  Investigators were able to obtain a copy of this video surveillance and observed a group of teens walk single file past the camera.  A short time later the same teens came back in camera view with several in the group firing guns. Investigators arrested the following individuals involved in this incident:

-          LeDarius Connell Montgomery, 17 years old of the 3700 block of Bansbury Place

-          LaGrandes Orlando Montgomery, 19 years old of the 3700 block of Bansbury Place

-          Jordan Jamal Lovett, 18 years old of the 1000 block of Country Place

-          Jerome Marquise Smith, 19 years old of the 3400 block of Essex Place

-          Marquise Deion Lewis, 17 years old of the 3700 block of Bansbury Place

-          Dijon Cortez Abbott, 17 years old of the 4200 block of James Drive

-          Nicholas Antwone Lockhart, 17 years old of the 4200 block of Beckmont Drive

-          Michael DiQuez Scott, 18 years old of the 3600 block of Melbourne Drive

All suspects were charged with reckless conduct and unlawful street gang activity. All suspects are affiliated with a local gang. Investigators believe this incident to be a gang related dispute between two local gangs.

On July 18, Richmond County deputies believe several of the same suspects were involved in a shooting at a house party on Cauthern Road and East Kensington Drive.  Marquez Eubanks and Jeremy Whitehead were both shot at that party. Eubanks died as a result of his injuries.

Then on July 21, deputies were called to the 3600 block of Brussels Street in reference to a drive by shooting at a residence. Investigators also believe this shooting was a result of a dispute between two rival gangs.

No further information is being released as witnesses are still being sought in the murder investigation. If you have any information about any of the incidents, call investigators at 706.821.1020.