Two double murder cases, both attorneys argue self-defense in drug deals gone bad

Crime

Two men facing separate double murder charges both appeared in Columbus Recorder’s Court Wednesday morning.

Terrance Streeter and Rayshondre Tarver went before Judge Julius Hunter. And attorneys for both men seemed to be making self-defense cases.

Streeter is accused of killing two Albany men on Mellon Street on August 25.

Columbus Police Sgt. Dexter Wysinger told the court it was a drug deal gone bad. Defense attorney Stacey Jackson, questioned Wysinger on cell phones and potential weapons carried by the victims —  Lamonte Denard Muff and Lyatray Buchanan.

Cell phones were found, but not weapons, Wysinger told the court.

Police say that a slug found in Muff’s body matched a weapon discovered in Streeter’s possession days after the shooting. 

In addition to the two murder charges, Streeter is also facing an aggravated assault charge against Joshua Brown, who was seriously injured in the same shooting.

After the hearing, Jackson focused on weapons on the victims.

“Why weren’t those firearms recovered?” he asked after the hearing. “Who moved those firearms? Where did they go? Why were those firearms being moved? Obviously, the sergeant didn’t want to talk about those particular things. I will concede it is a preliminary hearing and the standard is pretty low.”

Earl Johnson, 37, was also arrested and charged with two counts of murder and one aggravated assault in the Mellon Street homicides.

Now, to Tarver, who is accused of killing two teenagers walking along 32nd Avenue on Oct. 7.

The attorney for Tarver, William Kendrick, also made a self-defense argument on what he told the court was a drug deal gone bad.

According to his attorney, Tarver was selling marijuana to 18-year-old Montrell Johnson and 17-year-old Terreon Joseph when he feared for his life.

Tarver, who was turned into police by his family, is facing two murder charges.

Kendrick made a passionate argument to the judge that there was not probable cause to hold his client on murder. He continued that argument outside the courtroom.

“My client was about to be robbed and assaulted,” Kendrick said. “There were two individuals that were deceased. One of them had a 9 mm in his hand that was jammed. What happens when guns are jammed? You have to pull the trigger, then it doesn’t discharge. Right?”

That is clear self-defense, Kendrick argues.

“So that’s proof positive right there that he’s acting in his defense, he’s acting in the defense of this other woman who was driving the vehicle,” he said. “He was acting in defense of the vehicle they were in. It’s a triple-layered immunity. And the only counterpart to that is a felony amount of marijuana, which they can’t prove.”

Self-defense does not apply in the commission of a felony.

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