Who are Julian Conley and Jerrion McKinney? 'Bloods members' charged in Secoriea Turner's death
The suspects face aggravated assault, gun and gang-related charges while one of them have also been charged with malice murder and felony murder
ATLANTA, GEORGIA: Two men have been charged over the death of an eight-year-old girl, who was fatally shot near a Wendy's restaurant in Atlanta in October last year. Secoriea Turner was killed during a Black Lives Matter riot, and now, Julian Conley and Jerrion McKinney have been indicted on charges related to her death.
On the fateful day of July 4, 2020, Secoriea was sitting inside in an SUV with her mother Charmaine Turner and her mom’s friend near the Wendy's restaurant when she was gunned down. She died at the same spot where weeks earlier Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man, was shot dead by a White police officer.
Secoriea Turner shooting: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms's response to death of 8-year-old 'despicable'
Nineteen-year-old Conley and the 23-year-old McKinney were indicted by a grand jury on Friday, August 13, in connection with Secoriea’s murder. The two suspects face aggravated assault, gun, and gang-related charges while Conley has also been charged with malice murder and felony murder. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis called the case “one of the saddest cases I've seen,” and said that it “is the highest priority for my office.” “We are alleging that Mr Conley fired into the car when it failed to stop and respect their barricade, and that led to the tragic killing of Secoriea Turner,” Willis added during a news conference. She also claimed that the two accused were members of the Bloods street gang.
Conley was arrested last year. At the time, his attorney defended himself saying he was just protesting peacefully and did not fire a bullet. The attorney, who now does not represent him, had also claimed that their client witnessed the killing. While no lawyer was listed for McKinney in online court records.
According to reports, after Brooks was killed, people set ablaze Wendy’s restaurant in a protest that went on for days. The Bloods street gang also joined the demonstrators at the site and set up makeshift barricades in the area. As per Willis, the deceased man was a part of the gang, but lawyers for his family denied it. L Chris Stewart and Justin Miller, attorneys for Brooks’s family, said they “have no knowledge or information regarding any alleged gang affiliation of Rayshard Brooks”.
During the protest, armed men were not allowing vehicles to pass through the roads in the area. When the car in which Secoriea was riding reached the spot, armed men approached it and signaled that the driver should turn away the vehicle. “We are alleging that Mr Conley fired into the car when it failed to stop and respect their barricade and that led to the tragic killing of Secoriea Turner,” Willis stated.
Meanwhile, after Conley and McKinney were charged, Secoriea's parents, Charmaine Turner and Secoriey Williamson, said: “We are thankful that at least two of the men have been captured and pray and hope that more arrests are made.” The devastated parents filed a lawsuit in June against the city and city officials. They alleged that authorities failed to maintain peace and safety in the city as they couldn’t remove armed people who came to the site along with peaceful demonstrators who came to protest the killing of Brooks.