Cops: Trail of blood, retaliatory murder led to slaying of 3-yea - KCTV5 News

Cops: Trail of blood, retaliatory murder led to slaying of 3-year-old

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Amorian Hale Amorian Hale

In his 23 short years, D. Shawn L. Marchbanks lived a life filled with gang violence. He was fatally shot earlier this year during a shootout on Interstate 49.

Close family members were in and out of prison. Marchbanks himself had a lengthy record. And this wasn't even the first time he had been shot. A woman pumped a gunshot into Marchbanks' chest when he and two cronies burst into the innocent woman's home in 2013 during a home invasion robbery. Click here to read more.

Marchbanks survived and pleaded guilty in 2014. He was sentenced to two years in prison, but given credit for time served. He was quickly back on the streets and involved in crime again.

Motorists were terrorized when a fight over a girl led to this year's shootout on the interstate. After Marchbank died from his wounds, few mourned. Read more here.

But his buddy, SirTerry L. Stevenson,who was in the vehicle with Marchbanks when he was shot, did grieve. Prosecutors say Stevenson was enraged and vowed revenge.

"I (expletive) kill everybody watch," Stevenson allegedly wrote on his Facebook page. "Somebody family kids uncle gone pay for that tonight."

And prosecutors say a child did pay on May 31. Stevenson is accused of peppering a home in the 6700 block of Walrond Avenue with bullets where he believed Marchbanks' killer was. Amorian Hale, 3, was asleep when a bullet fired from Stevenson hit him in the head, according to court documents. Six other people were inside the home.

Stevenson is facing four felony charges including first-degree murder. He has been in police custody since June 2. Charges were originally filed on June 19, but they were sealed by a judge. Court documents indicate that a grand jury has met on the case. The charges finally were unsealed on Wednesday and the charges announced Thursday night.

Based on court records, Stevenson is facing a fifth charge, which remains under seal, or it has been dropped.

Amorian's father, Christopher Hale, said he remains in the dark about the Stevenson's motive.

"It's sick. It's senseless," Hale said. "I guess I can understand it more if I did something wrong to somebody but I didn't do nothing wrong to anybody."

But Stevenson clearly thought someone in Hale's house had killed his friend, according to court records.

Some of Marchbanks' criminal comrades were attending a May 9 funeral for Dominique Stafford, who was murdered in April. His fatal shooting apparently remains unsolved. Read more here.

After the funeral, some of those who knew Stafford got together. And that's when court documents say that Marcellus Anderson confessed to exchanging gunfire with Marchbanks and Stevenson in a fight over a girl. Anderson expressed concern that "dudes" were trying to kill him for Marchbanks' death, according to court records.

Anderson's confession was made to someone identified in court documents as "Victim 6" who was at the Hale house the day of Amorian's murder, but it's unclear who "Victim 6" is and his or her connection to the Hale family.

Court records do not show that any charges have been filed against a Marcellus Anderson in connection with Marchbanks' murder. Police said it's not clear who fired first.

Court documents reveal a convoluted story of someone accidentally overhearing friends of Anderson's discussing his confession. That eavesdropper, Sulif Wilkins, turned out to be a friend of Stevenson, Marchbanks and Desmond Moore.

Prosecutors are alleging that Wilkins and Stevenson hatched out a plan to kill their friend's killer. According to court documents, "Victim 6" and a second person took Wilkins to the Hale home on May 30 where they spent the night.

Court records show Wilkins and Stevenson repeatedly talked via cell phone the morning of May 31.

According to court documents, Wilkins was acting strange the next morning and would eventually head to a nearby home. He was allegedly standing in the doorway talking on the phone with Stevenson as Stevenson approached the Hale home and began firing his rifle, according to witnesses and cell phone records. Witnesses told police that Wilkins refused to rush to the Hale home to give aid to Amorian and his family, and even rushed away before police could talk to him.

Witnesses said that a second person was inside the older model gold four-door vehicle that fired the fatal shots. Less than four hours after the drive-by shooting, Moore's phone was used to send a text to Stevenson stating, "We need to change our #s."

Court documents indicate that a week before Amorian Hale was killed that Wilkins had been to the home looking for "Victim 6," who was at work.

Stevenson was arrested on June 2 during a short pursuit. He tried to hide his cell phone underneath a porch where he had also ducked for cover unsuccessfully.

Officers would then use that cell phone to set up a sting to get their hands on the rifle that prosecutors claim Stevenson used in the murder.

Wilkins has been charged in federal court in a separate case with being a felon in possession of a firearm and possessing a stolen firearm. Wilkins remains in federal custody, detained without bail until his trial in federal court. His arraignment will be on Aug. 6.

Court records show that Wilkins on June 18 told detectives that he had no knowledge of Amorian's murder.

"Wilkins also denied knowing Stevenson and denied having any communication with Stevenson prior to or during or after the murder," according to court records.

On June 18, detectives questioned Stevenson. He allegedly said he was in the car when the shots were fired toward the Walrond home, but said he was not the shooter.

Stevenson allegedly claimed that Wilkins had asked for his help in avenging Marchbanks' death, saying Wilkins believed Marchbanks' killers were inside the Walrond home that morning.

"Stevenson admitted to getting information from Wilkins who were connected to the death of D'Shawn Marchbanks were at 6701 Walrond and admitted driving to 6701 Walrond where the shooter fired shots into 6701 Walrond," according to court records.

While Stevenson was charged with first-degree murder, prosecutors alerted his defense attorneys that they could reduce the charges to second-degree murder.

"I pray to God that you know the prosecutors and everybody got their I's dotted and their T's crossed," Amorian's father said Thursday.

A judge has ordered Stevenson held on a $500,000 cash only bond.

Hale said he is relieved an arrest has been made, but said that won't bring back his little boy.

"I still miss him every day," he said. "His smile. Us watching television, playing. I miss everything about him."

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