Suspects in teen's death appear in court

CARROLLTON, Ga. -- Three of the suspects accused in connection with the death of a 13-year-old boy shot in his Carrollton home made their first court appearances on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, authorities arrested 21-year-old Kenneth Wheat, 24-year-old Jackquline Leann Freeman, and 34-year-old Oleida Ward in the death of Nizzear Rodriguez. Police say Rodriguez was shot in his bed hours after he celebrated his 13th birthday.

Another suspect, 17-year-old Malik Davis, was arrested on Monday.He made his first court appearance on Tuesday.

Authorities say Wheat was in the house when Nizzear was killed. Police are still not sure if it was Wheat or Davis who pulled the trigger.

"I can tell you he was upset and seemed very remorseful," Carrollton Police Capt. Chris Dobbs said of Wheat.

Freeman was also in court. She is also charged with murder for allegedly driving the getaway from the scene of the murder.

Investigators spent the afternoon processing the car, a four-door dark green Honda for more evidence to tie Davis, Wheat and Freeman to the crime.

A fourth suspect, 34-year-old Oleida Ward, is charged with hindering the apprehension of a suspect. Police say Ward allowed Freeman and Wheat to hide in her apartment while police were looking for them. She was only one to get bond, which was set at $10,000.

Family members of Rodriguez crowded into the small courtroom space with family members of the suspects. After the court appearances, parents of Freeman seemed stunned that she had been arrested.

"I don't really know what went on, but I feel sorry for the victim's family, because she had a child too," Kathy Freeman, the suspect's mother.

Authorities are still working to determine a motive in the shooting.Authorities said the suspects all the West Side Bar and Grill together. There was possibly some sort of argument. They met at a second location and made the trip to the home where Rodriquez was shot and killed.

All of the suspects will back in court on Sept. 5.


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