Trials nearing for men involved in March shooting death

STILLWATER, Okla. — Two Stillwater men who were charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of 21-year-old Chris Peck are nearing separate trials that are scheduled to be held in 2018.

Both Rodriquez Cortez Johnson Jr., 20, and Shakeem Rachid Carter, 23, face up to life in prison without parole if convicted, and Johnson is charged with two counts of shooting with intent to kill – each count carries up to life in prison. The two were arrested days after Stillwater police responded to a call of a triple shooting at a residence in the 200 block of West Third Avenue the night of March 4.

Peck died of his injuries the following morning at St. John Hospital in Tulsa, while 20-year-olds Kaylee Mullins and Leeann Dotter were both hospitalized for gunshot wounds. Dotter told media outlets she needed reconstructive surgery on both her hands, and Mullins was wounded on her head and face. 

Johnson is currently slated to face trial beginning Jan. 30, according to court records, and has been given prison sentences for two felony cases prior to his March arrest. Judge Phillip Corley ruled Dec. 14, despite arguments from Johnson and his attorney, that he will serve 15 years in the Oklahoma Department of Corrections for a 2015 charge of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, which will run concurrent with a 7-year sentence stemming from two 2015 counts of second-degree burglary that Johnson pled guilty to. Both sentences come after Johnson's March arrest violated his terms of probation; Johnson has filed motions to withdraw his guilty pleas in both cases, according to court records.

Carter, meanwhile, has filed a motion that the court demur dismiss the first-degree murder charge against him. According to the filing, he and his attorney's argument is that "witnesses at (the) preliminary hearing clearly indicate that R(odriquez) Johnson is the person that shot C(hris). Peck and the other two (Kaylee Mullins and Leeann Dotter) and there is no credible evidence that this Defendant had any involvement in this murder." Carter is currently serving sentences in DOC custody for multiple felony convictions in the past five years, of which several suspended sentences were revoked.

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Trials nearing for men involved in March shooting death

Per an affidavit filed in Payne County District Court, Peck had been hanging out with Mullins at the residence on Third Avenue since about 8 p.m., and Peck had “a tan-colored duffle bag ... there was marijuana in the duffle bag,” in his possession that he had brought to sell in Stillwater.

Carter, who is described as living across the street, had been at the residence visiting Dotter. Once Peck arrived, Mullins said Carter borrowed her cell phone to make about six calls in their backyard – the last time, Johnson walked in with him.

The two began to talk with Peck before Johnson pulled out a semi-automatic pistol, shooting Peck in the torso and head, Mullins in the shoulder, face and head, and Dotter in both hands, the affidavit reads. Both Mullins and Dotter said Johnson was the only person firing the pistol, and he and Carter ran out the back door with the bag of marijuana after the shots were fired.

Both Johnson and Carter are scheduled to appear in court Jan. 12 for pretrial hearings.

Twitter: @ahrens_tim

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