The bullet that killed Maryiah Coleman and her unborn baby was fired after a group of men tried to rob an unrelated victim of two guns, a detective testified Monday.
Coleman, who was eight months pregnant, was walking a family dog on Sept. 7 when she unknowingly wandered into the vicinity of a robbery, Detective Tyson Carroll testified at a preliminary court hearing Monday.
The victim in that robbery, identified by Carroll as Eric D. Cannady, and a group of men trying to rob him were pointing guns at each other when a shot was fired by one of the men. That shot struck Coleman.
Police interviews of witnesses and suspects indicate Cannady was facing away from Coleman when the shot was fired.
Cannady told investigators he believed Demetrioun Lamar Boaz, 20, fired the shot, Carroll testified. Boaz; Skylar Bishop Stigall, 21, of Somerset; Joseph “Jodie” Fain and Saquan Ysai Freeman, both 20 years old, have been charged with murder, fetal homicide and robbery.
As the investigation continues police are still searching for a fifth person who may have been involved in the robbery, police spokeswoman Brenna Angel said.
Judge Joseph T. Bouvier referred the initial charges against Boaz, Fain, Freeman, all of Lexington, and Stigall to a grand jury for review.
Fain’s attorney asked that his charges be amended to complicity to manslaughter, saying none of the testimony indicated he was the person who fired the shot that killed Coleman. Bouvier declined, saying he had probable cause to send the more serious charges to the grand jury.
Bouvier went on to say that reduced charges, such as complicity, would likely be presented as options to a jury at trial.
Two guns were recovered near the scene of the robbery and shooting, including a .38 caliber handgun and a .45 caliber handgun, Carroll testified.
After telling investigators several times that he didn’t know the robbers, Cannady gave police the names of the four men charged on Feb. 13, Carroll said. Lexington police announced charges against Boaz, Fain and Freeman on Feb. 14. Charges against Stigall were announced the following day.
Cannady has since been charged with receiving a stolen firearm, according to court documents. One of the guns he had at the time of the robbery was found to have been stolen, Carroll said.
Before they were charged in connection with Coleman’s death, Fain, Boaz and Freeman were charged in a robbery that occurred on Red Mile Road in October. Freeman was shot by one of the victims in that robbery and is now paralyzed.
Stigall was not involved in the Red Mile Road robbery, according to police.