Four Charged With Murder of Cleveland Heights Teen Plead Not Guilty
Four suspects in connection with the shooting on Superior and Lee Nov. 26 appeared in court today
Four suspects charged with murder in connection with the shooting Nov. 26 on Lee and Superior roads pleaded not guilty today in court.
Dominique King, 19, of Cleveland, Antonio Kirk, 18, of Euclid, Jamal Cammack, 18, of Cleveland and Thomas White, 20, of Cleveland, were charged with killing 16-year-old Cleveland Heights resident Artwon Oliver and indicted by a grand jury Dec. 6. King and Cammack pleaded not guilty from jail on a monitor in the arraignment room at the Justice Center. Kirk and White were escorted into the courtroom in handcuffs and bright orange jumpsuits and also pleaded not guilty.
Their bond was raised to $750,000 from $500,000, and their pretrial hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Dec. 14 with Judge Peter Corrigan.
The suspects were also indicted on other charges including aggravated rioting, aggravated murder and felonious assault in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.
A 17-year-old was also charged with murder, aggravated rioting and participating in criminal gang activity, said Cleveland Heights Police Chief Jeffrey Robertson. He is being held in juvenile detention, and he will request that he is tried as an adult.
King was also arrested and charged with aggravated robbery for trying to grab a police officer's gun after the Coventry Street Arts Fair.
Some estimate hundreds to thousands of kids, or what some call, “Flash mobs” congregated after the street fair. Fights broke out and 16 teens were arrested, and the second fair of the summer was canceled.
The events prompted Cleveland Heights City Council to implement a 6 p.m. curfew for minors in the Cedar Lee and Coventry business districts, and council recently extended the curfew law to Severance Town Center after Robertson said flash mobs caused problems there, too.
King pleaded guilty to obstructing official business Nov. 15, and he will be sentenced Dec. 20, according records from the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office.
Robertson provided more details about what happened the evening Artwon Oliver was shot.
Artwon had attended a party on Superior Road and Parkway Drive where police were earlier that night.
A caller reported that there were youth fighting in the area, so police responded to the party just after 11 p.m. When police arrived, no one was fighting, but about 10 males ran out of the side door of the house, and they saw other youth fleeing the party.
Police issued citations to the mother of kid who hosted the party and to a youth walking in the street and arrested Santwan Jones, 18, of University Heights, for an outstanding warrant with the city, he said.
Artwon and a group of about six left the party and headed to the Sunoco on Superior and Lee for snacks, Robertson said.
As they were leaving, he said one, possibly two cars pulled up to the store. A group of four male suspects got out, and there was a fight. The Cleveland Heights Police Department received numerous calls of a "large disturbance" in the area around 11:45 p.m, and the callers said that they heard at least one to two gunshots. When police arrived, they saw Artwon laying in the road, just south of Superior on Lee Road.
Artwon was transported to MetroHealth Medical Center by a Cleveland Heights rescue squad and later died from his injuries, according to an earlier statement from police.
Officers tried to administer CPR, but he was unresponsive. Police are still investigating the incident.
Cleveland Heights Patch will update this story as details become available.
Arrests and charges do not indicate conviction.