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3 suspects in drive-by shooting appear in court

By Janice Gregorson

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

Three of four suspects in the city’s latest drive-by shooting made their first appearances in Olmsted District Court on Monday afternoon, and a fourth was expected to be in court Tuesday morning.

Antuan Devon Williams, 25, 310 31st St. N.E.; Robert Deangelo Richardson, 31, 624 Fourth Ave. S.E.; and Quantez Stephan Taylor, 24, 2303 Elton Hills Dr. N.W., are each charged with drive-by shooting toward a motor vehicle or building and making terroristic threats, felonies. In addition, Richardson is charged with being in possession of a pistol in a public place without a permit, a felony; and gross misdemeanor carrying a pistol in a public place without a permit.

The charges stem from a drive-by shooting early the morning of Sept. 5 in the 1000 block of Fifth Street Northeast, where a parked car was peppered with six bullets. Numerous shell casings were found in a grassy area behind the vehicle.

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It was the third time in a month that gunfire had erupted in the same neighborhood.

Police Capt. Brian Winters said Monday they believe there is a connection, but so far they have not been able to link this shooting to the prior ones.

One connection might be the victims.

The first shooting in that neighborhood occurred Aug. 15. Carlton Fogan, 26, of Rochester, is charged in that incident. He is accused of firing a .40 caliber Glock during a dispute that allegedly started over his complaints of poor service at a newly opened restaurant. Fogan’s attorney contends Fogan was the victim in that case.

The car shot early Friday morning was owned by a sister of the male victim in the Aug. 15 shooting.

The latest complaint says that Taylor was reported to have been in a physical fight with that woman’s nephew less than a week ago. Taylor admits to having had an argument with that boy, but not fighting him, the complaint says.

There also is a connection between at least two of the defendants: Fogan and Williams. They were co-defendants in the fall of 2002, charged with aiding each other in selling crack cocaine to an undercover officer. The two had met while they were students at Mayo High School.

Williams initially was given a stayed prison sentence. But he violated conditions, and ended up going to prison. In March 2005, Williams was one of several people being questioned in connection with a shooting and fight when officers found cocaine in his pants pocket. He was then charged with felony possession charges. In November 2005, he was given concurrent prison sentences on the two convictions.

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Prosecutor Karen Sullivan-Hook told Judge Debra Jacobson on Monday that authorities believe the suspects arrested Friday were involved in the other shootings. She asked the judge to set unconditional bail at $100,000 and conditional bail at $50,000.

Defense Attorney Bill Wright asked the judge to disregard those comments, stressing that the men have not been charged with anything else.

He told the judge that Richardson, a father of three, has lived in Rochester for five years, and that he works full-time at a retail store. He said Taylor has also lived in Rochester five years and works for a local roofing company. Williams, he said, has lived in Rochester for 12 years and also works in retail.

The judge did set bail at the amount requested by the prosecution. All three men return to court Sept. 22.

The complaint says that Taylor was the driver, that Williams was a front seat passenger, and that Richardson and another man were in the back seat.

The shooting occurred about 2:30 a.m. Friday in the 1000 block of Fifth Street Northeast. Officers located a vehicle leaving the area and stopped it. Two subjects inside tried to get out and leave, but officers kept them there at gunpoint, the complaint says. The traffic stop occurred 2 minutes after the shooting was reported.

Police said Williams refused to comply with arresting officers and appeared to be trying to hide an object between his seat and center console. Once he was removed from the vehicle, officers found a police-style baton in that area.

Witnesses told police they looked outside their window and saw two subjects just after hearing the shots. The two ran south along 10th Avenue Northeast. The complaint says Taylor admitted that Richardson and another man got out of the vehicle for a few minutes, and that he saw one of the men with a handgun.

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Two handguns were located in the vehicle — a Glock 9 mm and a .40 caliber Desert Eagle. The 9 mm gun was found in the pouch area behind the front passenger seat. It had a round in the chamber and two more in the magazine. The .40 caliber Eagle chamber was not loaded, but a full magazine was in the weapon, the complaint says.

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