Third shooter pleads guilty in 2018 murder, DA says

·2 min read

The third of three teen homicide defendants pled guilty last week to killing one man and wounding another in a 2018 shooting near Shelby Drive and Riverdale Road in southeast Memphis, said Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich.

Christian Key, now 21, pled guilty on June 23 in criminal court to second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison without the possibility for parole, a release said.

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According to court documents, the shooting occurred the night of March 28, 2018, when the victims, Christopher Smith and his cousin, both 23, began looking for the cousin’s car that had just been stolen from a service station in southeast Memphis.

The pair became suspicious when a car with the three suspects drove slowly by with the occupants staring at them.

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The victims were convinced the three suspects were somehow involved in the auto theft. According to documents, Smith and his cousin began following the car as it headed north on Riverdale and when the defendants turned onto Cognac Cove, they turned around so their car was facing the car that was following them.

According to a release, Jalen Bell, 19, his brother Key, 17, and Demerrick Porter, 18, then jumped out and began shooting, killing Smith with two shots to the head and wounding his cousin in the leg.

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Bell, Key and Porter were developed as suspects and all admitted to firing at the victims. Porter was convicted in a trial last year and is serving a 38-year prison sentence on second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder and employment of a firearm in the commission of a dangerous felony.

Bell pled guilty in March to second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder and was sentenced to 28 years without parole.

RELATED: Second shooter pleads guilty in 2018 murder, DA says

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