CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - Authorities announced Thursday an indictment has been handed down, charging multiple defendants in connection with a 2016 gang-related double homicide.
On October 22, 2016, Daveon Coates, 15, and his sister, Tatiyana Coates, 11, were shot to death by gang members as they slept in their beds inside a home on Libby Lane in Clayton County. Investigators said the gang members traveled from DeKalb County to the house in search of Deundre Mitchell, 15, who had allegedly stolen guns from the gang.
"It's unclear whether they knew exactly that those juveniles were to be targeted," said Clayton County Police Chief Kevin Roberts. "We believe it might've been a case that they were there searching for Deundre and thought that he was in one of the beds."
At a news conference Thursday, the Clayton County District Attorney said the 54-count indictment charges 11 people with a variety of charges related to the murders of the Coates children. All 11 suspects have been arrested or are in custody, and nine of them have been charged with their murders.
One of those suspects includes DeKalb County elementary school teacher Michael De'Sean White, who was charged with malice murder.
"We were absolutely flabbergasted," said Captain Stefan Schindler of White's alleged involvement. "I'll be honest with you, to come to the realization that we had a fifth-grade teacher in a public school teaching children to be part of this. So, yes, it took our breath away."
The Coates family did not attend the news conference but was informed of the developments.
"There is some small piece of solace that they received from the progress of the case so far," said Chief Roberts.
The district attorney said the men will likely be arraigned in May or June and could be on the trial calendar soon after.