New indictment reveals additional charges in Cut Throat case

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — After January’s federal indictment against 16 suspected gang members, the U.S. Attorney's office filed additional weapon and drug trafficking charges in a new indictment April 3 in the central division of the U.S. Court for the Western District of Missouri.

All of those indicted still face a possible life sentence if convicted of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, said Don Ledford, the U.S. Attorney’s office's public affairs officer.

The original indictment contained 34 counts while the new one includes 45 counts and new information regarding the 2008 drive-by shooting at the Petro Mart gas station near Falling Leaf Lane in Columbia.  

On May 31, 2008, Brandon James Isom, 19, shot a handgun from a vehicle at the Petro Mart gas station and the occupants of another vehicle returned the fire, according to the new indictment.

As a result of the incident, a 29-year-old man ended up with gunshot wounds to the mouth, according to previous Missourian articles. He was driven to a local hospital where he remained in stable condition.

The police arrested two suspects, Diondre J. Cooper, 20, and Robert Darnell Simmons, 36, on July 18, 2008, in connection with the shooting. Both men are also accused of being members of the Cut Throat gang.

Thirteen of the 16 accused people have been indicted for a second time.

The trial date for all 16 is still set for July 20.

The indictment also lists additional charges for some of the suspects:

William Ricky Boyd, 21, Michael Lee Stapleton, 23, Cooper, Isom and Simmons have received charges of using a weapon with the intent to intimidate, injure and willfully fire a weapon into a group of two or more persons.

Eric Sherron Coats, 21, Damatrell Koda Washington, 28, and Isom have been charged with possession of a firearm in connection with drug trafficking.

Simmons received an additional drug charge for possession of at least 5 grams of cocaine base with intention to distribute.

Coats received two additional charges of using a communication device to facilitate drug-trafficking operations.

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