Rapper Juvenile is “shocked and devastated” by the shooting deaths of his 4-year-old daughter, the girl’s mother and another child, his manager, Aubrey Francis, told The Associated Press on Saturday.
The bodies of Juvenile’s daughter Jelani; her mother, Joy Deleston, 39; and Deleston’s daughter Micaiah, 11, were found Thursday night in their home in Lawrenceville, Georgia, which is near Atlanta. Deleston’s 17-year-old son, Anthony Tyrone Terrell, was arrested by Gwinnett County police on Friday and later charged with three counts of murder and three counts of aggravated assault. Terrell waived his first court hearing, where he would have been formally notified of the charges against him, on Friday, a Gwinnett County Magistrate Court clerk told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“It really shocked him and devastated him to the point where I’ve never seen him before,” Francis said of the rapper, according to the AP. “Right now he is relaxing and trying to grasp everything of what has happened.”
Memorial services for the three have been set for this week in Charleston, South Carolina, according to the AJC. Funeral arraignments have not been disclosed. An obituary that ran in the AJC over the weekend confirmed Deleston was survived by her mother and brother of South Carolina, as well as another brother living in Japan. Deleston was an actress who appeared in locally produced films, and also worked as a sheriff’s deputy. A private memorial service was held for the three on Sunday in Dacula, Georgia.
Police still have not announced a motive in the killings.
MTV News confirmed on Monday (March 3) that Terrell is being held in a DeKalb County prison; Deleston was a seven-and-a-half-year veteran of the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office and her son was placed in a different county to avoid potential conflicts during his processing.
Colleagues of the actress and schoolmates of her son have expressed shock and dismay over the shootings.
Robert Singleton, who appeared in multiple projects with Deleston, described her son as “a good kid.” “That’s the reason why it’s so disturbing, because you just didn’t see that coming,” Singleton told the AJC. “He seemed very humble. He was respectful.”
Lewis Colquhoun, who attends the same high school as Terrell, said the accused had always spoken highly of his mother. “Every time he talks about his mom, it’s something good about her,” the Central Gwinnett High School freshman told the paper. “I don’t think it’s true. I don’t believe it at all. He’s not the kind of kid to snap.”
According to the AJC, Terrell implicated himself in the killings and revealed to authorities where he’d placed the weapon after the shooting, police said. The paper reported that officers responded to gunshots fired on Thursday evening and, after discovering bullet holes in the house next door, checked on the residents. There, police found the three bodies.
Because of his age, prosecutors cannot seek the death penalty against Terrell. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for him for Thursday morning in Gwinnett County Superior Court, prosecutor Danny Porter told the AP.
In 2004, Deleston brought a paternity lawsuit against Juveline, claiming that the rapper (real name: Terius Gray) was Jelani’s father. Attorney Randy Kessler, who represented Juvenile in the proceedings, told the AP that the case was resolved peacefully by consent order in 2006, with both parties agreeing that Juvenile was the father. Juvenile had been making regular child-support payments, Francis told the AP.
Representatives for the rapper’s label, Atlantic Records, and his former recording home, Cash Money Records, had no comment at press time.
[This story was originally published at 11:07 a.m. ET on 03.02.2008]