Five people, all from North Carolina, were detained for questioning last week in the shoot out at the Twisted Rooster nightclub in Chesterfield Aug. 18, that cost one person his life, and left four others with bullet wounds, according to Sgt. Daniel C. Scott, criminal investigator and public information officer for the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office.
“The complexity of the case,” Chesterfield County Sheriff Robert Lee said, prompted him to invite the local press for a conference room discussion with deputies, detectives, the coroner, and Chesterfield County solicitors the morning of Aug. 21. One by one, officers told what they knew about the case. And, one by one, the list of charges against each of the five suspects began to pile up.
Because of the sheer volume of the number of charges and people involved in this case, the last of the warrants against this group of men was not served until late Friday evening, Aug. 23. “All together the case involves more than 50 separate warrants,” Scott said.
According to the Sheriff’s Office the suspects in this crime include:
• Lee Jernard Burns, 23, of 262 Darrass St., Polkton, N.C., charged with murder, attempted murder, four counts of accessory before the fact of a felony, four counts of accessory after the fact of murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and conspiracy.
• Dontrel Shyhee Blakeney, 17, charged with murder, attempted murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, three counts of accessory after the fact of murder, three counts of accessory before the fact of a felony, and conspiracy.
• Corderrick Arsenio McLendon, 25, of 4438 Glenn Crawl, Wingate, N.C., charged with five counts of accessory after the fact of murder, four counts of accessory before the fact of a felony, and conspiracy.
• Demetry Rayshawn Reid, 21, of 315 East St., Polkton, charged with four counts of accessory before the fact of a felony, six counts of accessory after the fact of murder and conspiracy.
• Reginald Aldel Reid, 24, of 315 East St., Polkton, charged with neglect in reporting a crime, six counts of accessory after the fact of murder, accessory before the fact of a felony, and conspiracy.
Jefferson Rex Rivers, 39, who was co-owner of the Twisted Rooster, died at Carolina Pines Hospital in Hartsville early Sunday morning Aug. 18, said Scott. “He was shot in the left abdomen and the right calf.”
Although Rivers’ body was sent to Newberry for an autopsy, Chesterfield County Coroner Kip Kiser said that until all records are received from the hospital the cause of death is listed as “pending.” However, “we are confident that will change to homicide,” he said.
Two of the other four victims are juveniles; one 15 and one 17. The seventeen year old was shot “through and through the forearm,” said Scott. He has been released from the hospital and was able to return to school in Lancaster County last week. The other juvenile is out of the hospital and has returned to school as well. However, a bullet remains lodged in his back, near the spine.
The other two victims, both shot in the forehead, remain in critical condition. They are Malcolm Staton of Polkton, N.C., and Nigel Bivens, 19, of Marshville, N.C.
According to Scott, this is what allegedly happened. The five suspects “came down from Union County and Polkton and went into the club,” he said. “From what we understand these five are in one gang and the guys from Lancaster are from another — and Bloods and Folk don’t mix.”
While in the club that night the music got “really krunk,” he said. When the lyrics of a song blasting through the speakers made reference to “that life,” meaning the gangster life, “the crowd went wild,” said Scott.
“Everybody was energized and jumping around,” Scott said, “when bottles started flying.”
“That is apparently when Dontrel Blakeney was hit in the mouth,” said Scott, “and the five of them were escorted out of the club.”
The real trouble started when, according to eye witness accounts said Scott, “Blakeney went back to the front door of the club and started shooting.”
More shots were fired from the suspect’s vehicle as they drove away, said Scott.
All five suspects were apprehended in North Carolina, said Lee, and “we are grateful for the tremendous support we received from all of the various law enforcement agencies involved.”
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.