Initially, the story, according to authorities, went like this:
A 16-year-old kid was riding his bike while wearing a backpack off Wellborn Road in DeKalb County on a May afternoon in 2017. Another young man saw him, shot him dead and took the backpack.
Adaren Carter, then-21, and his cousin Jacob Maddox, then a 16-year-old Miller Grove High football player and considered an accomplice, were charged with felony murder.
A year later, court records reveal a very different case. It is Maddox who prosecutors believe was the shooter, and he was recently granted $100,000 bond by Judge Daniel Coursey. Meanwhile, Carter has pleaded out, convicted of only theft by taking, and is awaiting sentencing.
The story, according to transcript from the May 21 bond hearing released this week, now goes like this:
Tyler Bingham was riding his bike when Maddox drove up next to him in an SUV. For reasons no one knows (or has revealed) Bingham pulled a gun and shot at the SUV.
Maddox drove away.
Carter was around the corner, listening to music on his headphones, when he got a call from his cousin saying the kid on the bike just shot at him.
Carter decided to look for Bingham. When he found him, they started fighting. He allegedly dropped the younger, smaller boy to the ground.
Then Maddox showed up with his own gun and, though Carter told him not to shoot, authorities claim he fired on the 16-year-old.
Bingham got up and ran through a cut in the woods. Bullets followed him. He left a blood trail while racing to a neighbor’s house for help. No one was home.
The shot to the liver was the fatal one.
Carter took the backpack and says he gave it Maddox.
The victim’s father didn’t say his son was right (or wrong for allegedly firing the gun), but he asked the judge not to grant Maddox bond.
“There is no reason why he should be out free where every week I got to go to the cemetery to talk to my son,” Charles Arthelo said on the stand. “We keep giving these kids passes to get in trouble, get out of jail, get in trouble, get out of jail. Somewhere along the line, we’ve got to stop this.”
Maddox’s defense attorney Torris Butterfield said he didn’t believe his client was the shooter. Maddox has no criminal record, he said, while his cousin does.
Butterfield also argued that Maddox is a DeKalb native and intends to live with his mother in the Lithonia area and attend court.
Prosecutor Teresa Stolze said she’ll prove at trial that Maddox was the shooter, who could’ve avoided all this by simply calling the police instead of seeking out Bingham to shoot him.
“He’s the one that pulled the trigger and ended a 16-year-old boy’s life,” she said.
Jail records show Maddox remained in jail Friday. He could be released whenever he posts bond.
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