Valdosta Daily Times

October 12, 2013

Death leads to charges

Police: Drug deal gone bad results in killing

Adam Floyd
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Following an apparent drug deal gone bad, three men and a juvenile are facing charges related to the death of a Valdosta man whose body was discovered behind a vacant house, according to Valdosta police.

Tevin Martin, 19, was found Thursday at approximately 9:14 a.m. in the backyard of a vacant home at 714 Hill Terrace. A neighbor discovered the body and made a report to the VPD.

The four individuals facing charges related to his death are Deno Alvin Lewis, 51, Michael Terrell Wise, 19, James Lee Powell, 19, and a juvenile.

Detectives, assisted by the FBI Gang Task Force, worked throughout the day Thursday and connected Davis’s death to a separate shooting incident reported Wednesday evening.

At approximately 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, police were looking for a subject in the shooting of a juvenile who was admitted to South Georgia Medical Center with two gunshot wounds. He initially lied to police about the circumstances of the shooting and changed his story during further questioning following the discovery of Martin’s body the next day, according to Chief Brian Childress.

“That individual said he was shot over on Floyd Street, which runs parallel to Hill Terrace, where we found Mr. Martin’s body,” Childress said. “The victim in this case, Mr. Martin, had gotten with this juvenile, and their intent was to rob two other individuals, Mr. Deno Lewis and Mr. Michael Wise.”

Lewis and Wise were allegedly involved in illegal narcotic sales and were targeted for that reason by Martin, the juvenile and another man, James Powell, according to the VPD.

“Their plan was to rob Mr. Lewis and Mr. Wise. They got into a vehicle, drove over there and initiated the robbery,” said Childress, “It went bad. Mr. Lewis was involved with shooting at Mr. Martin, and Mr. Wise was involved with the shooting of the juvenile.”

The shooting took place while Martin and the juvenile were in or near the vehicle. Once shots were fired, Martin and the juvenile fled on foot. The juvenile was shot twice in the buttocks and somehow made his way to the SGMC emergency room.

Martin suffered multiple gunshot wounds and eventually collapsed, said police, in the yard where he was found the next morning.

Lewis was charged with aggravated assault and felony murder. Wise was charged with aggravated assault. Powell was charged with aggravated assault and intent to commit armed robbery with felony murder charges pending, and the juvenile was charged with intent to commit armed robbery and felony murder.

“Under Georgia law, if you are involved in a felony crime that results in the death of another, you can be charged with felony murder. It’s not self-defense,” said Childress. “Clearly, Mr. Lewis and Mr. Wise were involved in narcotics sales. After we talked with them, we confirmed that.”

“The very fact they agreed to meet with the three individuals to sell them narcotics and the fact that the three individuals planned to rob them during this drug deal that went bad were all criminal intents,” said Childress.

Police have not released information pertaining to the types of narcotics involved in the incident or how many times Martin was shot. Despite the involvement of the FBI Gang Task Force, investigators do not believe the incident was gang-related.