Five teens plead guilty in fatal shooting at cookout

Friday, February 26, 2010 at 4:23pm

Five young men have pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a fatal shooting at an East Nashville cookout in March 2007. The defendants were juveniles as young as 16 at the time of the shooting.

With a trial set to begin Monday, William Sawyers, 19, the triggerman, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder today in Davidson County Criminal Court. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

He and the other four co-defendants were members of an unnamed Nashville street gang that busted in on a family cookout at a Joseph Street home and demanded money and car keys. As the suspects fled, Sawyers fired one shot that hit the party host, Jose Flores, in the back. He died a few hours later.

Christopher Northern, 20, Terrence Simpson, 19, and Antwan Whitehead, 18, each pleaded guilty to facilitation of second-degree murder and received 12-year sentences.

Chrisantoney Woods, 18, also pleaded guilty to facilitation of second-degree murder, but received an 18-year, an upward departure from standard sentencing guidelines.

In addition, Simpson and Northern pleaded guilty to a separate aggravated robbery that occurred the day prior to the murder, and each received an 8-year sentence to run concurrent to their facilitation sentence.

All five were to be tried as adults.


3 Comments on this post:

By: fightcrib on 2/26/10 at 10:12

This really troubles me. Cookeouts like this are about smoking pork ribs and chicken, not brothers.

By: tv8527 on 2/26/10 at 10:34

Street gangs need to be treated like the domestic terrorist that they are.

By: DDG on 3/1/10 at 1:44

After a few years of giving BJ's and taking it in he backside, they may learn what compassion is all about.