Somebody’s Got Some Explaining to Do

Last week, a Fayetteville apartment complex added two more to its body count, as police responded to a call at Barrington Place (Cambridge Arms) apartment complex — the site of a couple of other murders. This time police found the bodies of Jacoy Mahorn and his 18-year-old girlfriend, Shaniqua Shane Simmons, both of whom had been shot.

05-07-14-pub-notes.gifAt first glance, this looked like yet another senseless murder in our city, but as the investigation into their deaths began, we learned that this was not a random act of violence. There was a lot more to this story than what met the eye.

Yes, it is another sad, sad event in our community, but what precipitated this double homicide will probably play out for months in the national media — because these deaths could possibly have been avoided.

As the Fayetteville City Council is making crime reduction its number one priority, and as candidates for Cumberland County Sheriff campaign on the same priority, it is inconceivable that the turn of events that led to the murder of Mahorn and Simmons took place. Mahorn, no stranger to law enforcement, has a pretty extensive rap sheet ranging from drugs to, yes, murder. This is not the case with Simmons. But it is Mahorn’s activities and their repercussions that are generating news and will probably continue to do so.

On the morning police found Mahorn and Simmons, Mahorn was scheduled to be in court to offer testimony in the November shooting outside of Mickey’s Bar & Grill that left two dead. Mahorn was charged with murdere in that shootout, although authorities say he never fired a weapon. Under most circumstances, Mahorn would have been sitting in jail awaiting trial, but he agreed to provide evidence against the shooter and he was released on a $2 million bond.

This is where things get dicey. Mahorn, who was under house arrest, was ordered to wear monitoring bracelets, which were monitored by Pretrial Services. During this time, he requested to move across town to the crime-ridden apartment complex. The request was approved by Pretrial Services.

Are you starting to see where some explanations are in order?

Why would Fayetteville investigators and prosecutors from the district attorney’s office release a man like Mahorn? Why not hold him in county lock-up until he had testified and then cut a deal with him? Didn’t anyone in the police department, DA’s office or Pretrial Services think that releasing Mahorn was the same as putting a target on his head? And, even if they didn’t think that, didn’t the idea of moving him into Cambridge Arms seem a little crazy? The apartment Mahorn was living in wasn’t in his name? Who was paying the rent and whose name is on the lease?

And if everything in this case was above board, why didn’t Fayetteville Police Chief Harold Medlock not know that his investigators made a deal with Mahorn?

There seems to have been a lot of bad decisions made over the past six months, and added together, those decisions resulted in the death of Mahorn, a career criminal, but worst of all in Simmons, who appears to be an innocent victim. Somebody has some explaining to do and it’s not going to be pretty.

Photo: Jacoy Mahorn

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