Macon – Two teenagers have been sentenced to prison in the 2018 fatal shooting and robbery of another teen near the intersection of Houston and Villa Crest avenues.
Tajah Deshun Coleman, 18, pleaded guilty to felony murder on Tuesday just before his trial was set to begin in Bibb County Superior Court. A judge sentenced him to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
Jareyse Detrez Pollard, 18, pleaded guilty to armed robbery on Monday and was sentenced to serve 20 years.
If the case had gone to trial, prosecutors Sandra Matson and Justin Duane would have presented evidence showing:
In September of last year, Coleman and Pollard were both 17 years old. They were acquaintances with 17-year-old Pedro Garcia.
Coleman, Pollard, Garcia and others were gathered at the intersection of Houston and Villa Crest avenues at about 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 17, 2018, when Coleman and Garcia got into an argument. After the argument escalated, Garcia left to go in a nearby store and head home.
While Garcia was in the store, Coleman and Pollard made a plan to rob him.
Coleman went into the store after Garcia and tried to continue the argument, talking about how Garcia was a member of the Crips street gang and that Coleman was a member of the Bloods gang.
Coleman left the store before Garcia and later ambushed him on his way home. Coleman tried to rob Garcia at gunpoint and pulled at Garcia’s shirt and gold necklace. Coleman and Garcia tussled and then separated. Coleman then shot Garcia in the chest.
Garcia tried to run home, but he collapsed about 10 feet from the front porch and died.
The next day, a tip led law enforcement to Pollard. They saw him throw a gun into a car. Testing revealed the gun was a ballistic match to the bullet that killed Garcia. Pollard later gave a statement admitting his involvement.
Speaking after the hearings, District Attorney David Cooke said, “Our office takes no pleasure in securing decades-long and life sentences for teenagers. But if that’s what it takes to get justice and make our community safer, then we’re going to do it.
“I hope this sentence sends a message to the young people we’re trying to reach though the School-Justice Partnership and other juvenile reform programs, and that they see what happens to people who make choices like Mr. Coleman and Mr. Pollard,” Cooke said. “I hope Mr. Pollard is a changed man when he is released from prison decades from now and that Mr. Coleman spends the rest of his life reflecting on his choices and encouraging others to choose a different fate.”
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Contact: Amy Leigh Womack