According to Lt. Sam Parks, of the Griffin Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division, Fuller was not only involved in the fatal shooting, but acted as a leader of the East Side Gang, that authorities say is responsible for the incident.
Paige, who was shooting a rap video at Arve’s, a convenience store at the intersection where the shooting took place, was allegedly told to leave the area by members of the East Side Gang, but refused to do so.
“Mr. Paige approached one of the shooters,” Parks said. “Mr. Paige told him to ‘Check it or respect it.’ I don’t know what that means, but that’s what was said.”
Officials say it was only moments later that shots rang out, fired by multiple parties.
In questioning by Spalding County Chief Assistant District Attorney Randy Coggin, Parks said witnesses questioned reported Fuller was directly involved in the violence.
“Some of the witnesses said he (Fuller) had a shotgun,” Parks said.
When asked by Coggin if there is any affiliation between suspects in the incident, Parks said, “Based on the information we have, they all belonged to the same gang.”
Under cross-examination by defense attorney Dennis Scheib, Parks acknowledged Fuller lives approximately 30 to 45 seconds walking distance from the intersection of Tinsley and Fourth streets.
Fuller’s preliminary hearing before Spalding County Chief Magistrate Judge Rita Cavanaugh was, at times, contentious when Scheib sought to obtain the names of witnesses who identified his client as one of the individuals involved in the shooting.
Coggin objected to that line of questioning on the grounds it did not pertain to establishing probable cause that Fuller was involved.
Scheib continued to question Parks on the subject.
Parks said the witnesses live in the same neighborhood as Fuller, which led Scheib to ask, “So, witnesses said my client is a member of the East Side Gang?”
“They said your client is the leader of the East Side Gang,” Parks said. “That, and that he gave the order that Jerode Paige be killed.”
At the conclusion of the hearing, Cavanaugh ruled the state had shown sufficient probable cause for Fuller to be bound over to stand trial on one charge of party to the crime of malice murder, one count of criminal gang activity, once count of party to the crime of possession of a firearm during a public gathering, one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, one count of discharge of a firearm on or near a public highway, one count of party to the crime of cruelty to children and two counts of party to the crime of aggravated assault.