Friday, January 12, 2001

Triple-murder suspect under $6 million bail

By Walt Schaefer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A 19-year-old Mount Airy man was arraigned Thursday on charges of aggravated murder and aggravated robbery in the New Year's Day slaying of three men in Springfield Township's Lexington Heights neighborhood.

        Jerome Carter, 19, of Pameleen Drive, pleaded not guilty in Hamilton County Municipal Court before Judge Dennis Helmick. His bond was set at $6 million.

        Springfield Township Police Chief David Heimpold said Mr. Carter was arrested after police stopped his car at about 5 p.m. Wednesday on North Bend Road near Hamilton Avenue. The chief declined to elaborate.

        Police continue to search for two other suspects in the triple slaying.

        Gail Carter, mother of the accused, would not comment Thursday afternoon. Several neighbors in the nine-unit apartment building where the Carters live said they knew them only in passing or not at all.

        Miko Carter, 22; Clarence Julian, 19; and Gabriel Beckham, 16, all died of multiple gunshot wounds to the head just before 10 p.m. on Jan. 1 inside a Bonneville Lane house.

        Gabriel was a Mount Healthy High School student whose family said had gone to the house only because he needed a haircut. All of the victims were in a downstairs bedroom when shot.

        Mr. Julian and Miko Carter, no relation to Jerome Carter, had drug histories, officers said.

        Mr. Julian's brother, Johnny, 17, suffered cuts from flying glass during the spree. He was not seriously hurt. Johnny was upstairs in the living room, away from the killing scene, police said.

        Gabriel's mother, Lisa Sydnor, expressed relief when told of Jerome Carter's arrest, but said she will feel better when the “other ones get caught.” The family donated some of Gabriel's organs after his death.

        Ms. Sydnor said she is pleased with the investigation.

        “It's moving pretty fast,” she said. “I'm glad they're moving quickly on this. (Authorities) have really taken this to heart because it's so severe, the evilness of it.”

        One of Gabriel's kidneys went to his great-uncle and the other to a fellow church member. His liver was transplanted in an unidentified person.

        “They took my son, but they still didn't get total victory because my son gave life to other people,” Ms. Sydnor said. “His life is still going on. Other people got a chance to live because of their crazy acts.”

        Court records show Jerome Carter has a prior arrest for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and driving without a license last February. He was convicted and sentenced to one year probation for that offense. Mr. Carter also was cited on Jan. 2 - the day after the shootings - for possession of an open flask.

        Police Capt. Dave Schaefer has said the killers were invited to the Julian house by some of the people who live there. The brothers lived there with their widowed mother, who police said was playing bingo at the time of the shootings.

        Police said the killings were not random, but related to some previous drug-related problems in a house well-known to police. Investigators found money, crack and marijuana inside the house and said robbery of more money and drugs also could be a factor. Miko Carter and Mr. Julian have previous drug convictions, Hamilton County court records show. Mr. Julian admitted in June 1999 to charges of crack possession and preparing cocaine for sale. He was sentenced to four years in prison but did not serve that long.

        Miko Carter was arrested in March near the home where he died, for having pot in his car. He paid $163 in fines and costs.

       Dan Horn and Dave Eck contributed to this report.


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