Suspects in Secoriea Turner killing due in court

The two men charged in Secoriea Turner’s shooting death last year are to appear in court for an arraignment Tuesday morning.

Julian Conley, 20, and Jerrion McKinney, 23, face a 37-count indictment with charges, including murder, that could result in prison sentences of nearly 1,000 years. The defendants are accused of killing the 8-year-old girl on July 4, 2020. Police said an armed group opened fire on the Jeep the child was riding in near the burned-out Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was killed by an Atlanta police officer weeks earlier.

Protesters had camped out at the restaurant site to demand an end to police violence and pressure officials to build a community peace center in Brooks’ honor. At different times, armed groups blocked off the road near the University Avenue restaurant, essentially running a checkpoint and menacing people who drove by. Protest leaders have said they told the gunmen to take down the barricade before Secoriea was killed.

Warrants for Conley and McKinney allege that they are members or associates of the Bloods gang. The GBI said Brooks was also a member or associate of the Bloods, which drew the gang to the scene to act out anger over his death. Brooks’ family members, through an attorney, have said they were unaware of Brooks having involvement in gangs.

Conley and McKinney are also accused of assault for allegedly pointing their guns at a MARTA bus driver within minutes of Secoriea’s death. Most of the charges the defendants face are alleged violations of Georgia anti-street gang law.

Fulton District Attorney Fani Willis has said Conley fired an AR-15 style rifle eight times at the Jeep she was in riding past the restaurant. Secoriea, mom Charmaine Turner and a friend had just been celebrating the Fourth of July. Conley has denied firing shots.

Authorities have said McKinney didn’t fire but pointed a rifle at the Jeep and chased it as it sped away, Secoriea dying in her mother’s arms.

“This case is the highest priority of my office,” Willis said recently when announcing the indictments, asking for witnesses who can identify others involved in the shooting to come forward. The DA said video evidence shows that there are “other people out there with culpability.”

Conley and McKinney remain jailed without bond.