May 14—ADEL — Three Valdosta men were indicted for felony murder by a Cook County grand jury this week in a 2019 shooting at a prom party here.
Dashay Antwan March, Ra-Shay Marquez March and Taurian Javon Wertz have been indicted in the April 14, 2019, death of Emanuel Whitehead, according to court documents.
The three jointly face 16 charges from the indictment, including felony murder, multiple counts of violation of a street gang terrorism and prevention act, possession of a firearm during commission of a felony and two counts of aggravated assault, the indictment shows.
Around 12:50 a.m., April 14, 2019, Adel police were called out to The Stage, a party rental hall at 105 W. First St., on a report of shots fired at about 12:50 a.m., according to a Georgia Bureau of Investigation statement. Officers found a large crowd fleeing the area.
The gathering was a prom-related all-ages party with at least 300 people, some as young as 12, said Jason Seacrist of the GBI. Partygoers came from several counties, including Cook, Berrien, Colquitt, Tift and Lowndes, he said.
Emanuel Whitehead, 18, was found with a gunshot wound in a convenience store several blocks away, he said.
A 19-year-old man was found in the parking lot of a nearby business with a gunshot wound to the back, Seacrist said. A juvenile with minor injuries was later identified as a third gunshot victim, he said.
Whitehead died at South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta. He had recently completed training as a National Guardsman, Seacrist said.
The Stage was a new business that had only been open "three or four weeks," Adel Police Chief Chad Castleberry said.
At the time, Seacrist said the killing appeared gang-related. All three men who were indicted were associated with the Bloods gang, the indictment says.
Dashay March is a former football player for Valdosta High School.
Terry Richards is senior reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times.