After hearing testimony about the killing of an innocent bystander in a shooting allegedly involving rival gang members, General Sessions Court Judge David Bales said gangs "need to be stomped out like cockroaches."
He added, "And if they pop back up, stomp them again."
Judge Bales set the bond for 19-year-old Montez Davis at $1 million for first-degree murder. Bond for reckless endangerment is $20,000 and for unlawful possession of a weapon is $10,000.
The judge said, "These gangs are a menace - just like a cockroach. They caused an innocent 42-year-old man to die for no reason."
Detective Adam Emory said Davis admitted firing the shot that killed Jonathan Lawrence on the parking lot of the Kanku's convenience store at Tunnel Boulevard and Wilcox Boulevard in early January.
He said Davis stated that a group of Bloods had been harassing him. The detective said Davis told him, "He was tired of them picking on him."
The detective said a group that included Anthony Russell came up to him outside the convenience store, and he said Russell threw a bottle into his car.
He said Davis then drove to the end of the store parking lot, stopped the vehicle and got a gun. He said he planned to shoot toward the Russell group, but the shot from a 40-caliber pistol went off the mark. It felled the victim who was making some money by pumping gas for customers. The detective said he found the victim lying face down by the gas pumps.
The detective said Russell told him he threw the bottle because he thought Davis was going for a gun.
Two vehicles were hit in the convenience store gunfire.
The witness said there had been shots fired at the Davis residence on Tunnel Boulevard just after the Kanku's shooting. A woman driving by at the time was hit. The bullet from the gunfight went through the driver’s side window and hit Inah Garner in the finger.
Asked by defense attorney Lloyd Levitt if Davis is a gang member, he said he was advised he is a member of the Crips. But he said he had not confirmed that.
The mother of Montez Davis earlier said members of the Bloods gang have been after her family, including several of her six children. She said she had gone to the police several times to say her children were being harassed by the Bloods gang.
She said another of her sons had been involved with a female who was also allied with the Bloods and the gang was angry at him over that.
The mother said the incident began when her daughter (sister of Montez Davis) went to Kanku's along with her four-year-old daughter and her 13-year-old brother.
She said when the daughter got in a Jeep Grand Cherokee (belonging to the mother) to leave that members of the Bloods gang boxed her in.
She said the 13-year-old boy then sent a text message to Montez Davis telling him they were blocked in by gang members.
She said Montez Davis then drove to the convenience store. She said he had two other adults and a juvenile in the vehicle with him.
She said she did not know where her son had gotten the gun.
She said he is a quiet person who is not a gang member.