15-year-old suspect in Dadeville mass shooting denied bond

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 5:22 PM EDT|Updated: 3 hours ago
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TALLAPOOSA COUNTY, Ala. (WTVM) - A bond hearing for the 15-year-old suspect in the Dadeville mass shooting happened in the Tallapoosa County courthouse. That shooting unfolded earlier this year at a Sweet 16 birthday party back in April.

15-year-old Sherman Peters III was arrested as a suspect the night of the tragic shooting that left four people dead and 32 injured. Peters is one of six total suspects. A juvenile court judge made the decision to have Peters moved to circuit court and tried as an adult after a request from the district attorney.

The bond hearing was an Aniah’s Law hearing. The name came from Aniah Blanchard, an Auburn woman who was abducted and murdered. The man charged with her killing was out on bond, and Aniah’s Law gave the judge more power in deciding whether or not someone should receive a bond.

Brenazja Hutchinson, a surviving victim of the shooting, says she does not feel like Peters should be out on bond.

“I just feel like you shot your gun and put people in a bad position. And you hurt people, even if you didn’t shoot anybody, you still shot your gun. I just feel like you shouldn’t be out,” said Hutchinson.

One witness called by the state was heard in court.

Jess Thornton is with the State Bureau of Investigation. He worked the case the night it happened and was on the scene collecting bullet casings and observing what happened.

Thornton said they found about 90 shell casings in total. They do not know how many each suspect shot, but according to a past testimony from Peters, he shot around five to ten times.

Cara Johns was also a surviving victim of the mass shooting and says she would be scared if a bond is given to Peters.

“I would be upset and scared. I would be locking my doors and freaking out because they can come back and still try to do it again,” Johns said.

The state says the defendant is charged with 24 counts of assault and one count of third-degree assault.

The defense said a bond should be given so Peters can receive mental health care, and the state says a bond should not be given, according to Aniah’s Law.

Ultimately, the judge denied Peters bond on Sept. 19.

News Leader 9 will keep you updated with the latest, on-air and online.