MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A 23-year-old man pled guilty on Monday to killing one man and injuring another in 2018 after opening fire on a car near Shelby Drive and Riverdale Road in southeast Memphis, said Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich.
Jaelen Bell, 23, one of three defendants in the case has pled guilty to second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder before his trial was set to begin, a release said. He was sentenced to 28 years in prison without the possibility of parole.
On March 28, 2018, victims Christopher Smith and his cousin, both 23, began looking for the cousin’s car that had just been stolen from a service station, a release said.
The pair became suspicious when a car with the three defendants drove slowly by with the occupants staring at them.
According to a release, the pair was convinced the three were somehow involved in the auto theft, so Smith and his cousin began following the car as it headed north on Riverdale.
When the defendants turned onto Cognac Cove, they turned around so their car was facing the car that was following them.
Bell, his brother Christian Key, 17, and Demerrick Porter, 18, jumped out and began shooting, killing Smith with two shots to the head and wounding his cousin in the leg, a release said.
The three defendants were developed as suspects and all admitted firing at the victims.
Porter was convicted in a trial last year and is serving a 38-year prison sentence. Key, now 21, is scheduled for trial this summer.
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