Beating case moves forward

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 1, 2005

Court proceedings against the five men accused in the beating of an 18-year-old Newsomes man moved forward Thursday morning in Suffolk Circuit Court, as two defendants received new representation and three more will go to trial.

A motion for Dontrail Eley and Dontra Artis to receive a joint bench trial was granted, and the trial will commence Sept. 1. Keith Sessoms will receive a jury trial, scheduled for Sept. 15.

James C. Scott III and Terrell Artis were given new attorneys, as it was decided that Dwayne Strothers could not represent both the men and Eley. The two were given court-appointed attorneys and will be arraigned on July 25. Should they be able to retain personal attorneys between now and then, said prosecutor Will Jamerson, the new representatives will be appointed.

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Strothers will continue to represent Eley.

The men face malicious wounding charges in the March 5 beating of Marvin Jackson at an apartment party at 1200 East Washington Street. In the charges certification hearing April 11, Jackson told the court that he was punched, kicked, hit with a chair, and had hot grease poured on him.

Because the attack was thought to have been provoked by Jackson’s sexual orientation, it was first turned over the FBI as a potential hate crime. However, the FBI later decided that it did not meet the definition of a hate crime.