Suspected gunman indicted for murder in death of 17-year-old at Atlanta pool

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

The Fulton County grand jury has indicted a suspect accused of killing a 17-year-old last summer at an Atlanta pool, according to the district attorney.

Fernando Leanthony Felton, 19, was indicted for murder this week, three months after he was arrested. Felton is accused of killing Jakari Dillard at Anderson Pool on July 24, 2021, according to police. The suspect eluded capture until March, when the APD fugitive unit along with federal officers located him in East Point.

Felton remained Wednesday in the Fulton County jail, where he was being held without bond.

ExplorePolice secure murder warrant in teen’s shooting at NW Atlanta pool

Jakari, who was days away from starting the 12th grade at Life Christian Academy in Forest Park, was with several family members when he was shot, his mother told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution days after his death. Courtney Dillard said she was worried about gun violence and was protective of her children.

“I didn’t want to be one of the other moms doing what the other parents are doing and grieving,” Dillard said.

Dillard had allowed four of her children and their aunt to go to the pool on a steamy summer afternoon. Later on, she got a phone call that sent her racing to the pool. Jakari had been shot, she learned.

Credit: Family photo

Credit: Family photo

An older brother, Jamarcus Dillard, 19, said an argument over a pool game led to the shooting. Jakari hadn’t been involved in the argument, but was still shot, his brother said. Jakari died from his injuries.

The deadly shooting prompted city officials to temporarily close the public pools during the investigation.

Felton’s criminal history includes two open cases in Fulton County, court and jail records show. He was charged in 2020 with marijuana possession, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of a pistol or revolver by a person under 18, and not wearing a motorcycle helmet, according to court records.