Police: Teen's murder a case of mistaken identity

CARROLLTON, Ga. -- A police detective said one of three suspects accused of murdering 13-year-old Nizzear Rodriguez meant to shoot someone else.

Carroll County Detective Blake Hitchcock revealed the information Friday during a hearing for the suspects. He said 17-year-old Malik Davis went to the Carrollton apartment complex with the intention of killing a rival gang member who lived next door to Rodriguez, but entered the wrong home. Police said earlier that Davis has had confrontations with other residents of the apartment complex.

Investigators believe Davis and Kenneth Wheat were inside the boy's bedroom when he died, while Jackquline Freeman acted as a getaway driver. All three are charged with murder.

RELATED | Suspects arrested in Rodriguez's death

Rodriguez was gunned down Aug. 24, hours after celebrating his birthday with family members.

Two more suspects were also arrested in the death. Oleida Ward is charged with hindering the apprehension of a suspect for allowing Wheat and Freeman to stay in her apartment. Britannica Turner faces a charge of making false statements.

Defense attorneys tried to poke holes in the prosecutors' case. In the end, the judge that there was enough evidence for the case to proceed. The defendants were denied bond.

It could be more than a year before the case goes to trial, investigators told Nizzear's family.

Earlier this week, 11Alive News hosted a town hall in Carrollton, giving residents an opportunity to sound off on crime and violence in their neighborhoods. Click the link to watch that broadcast.

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