Warrant: Teen murder suspects confessed their involvement in man’s killing
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Two teenagers accused in the killing of a 32-year-old man last month confessed to the murder during interviews with law enforcement officers, despite initially denying any involvement, court documents reveal.
Keontae Trulique Hill, 17, and Amari Tyrese Singleton, 18, are both charged with murder in the Oct. 30 shooting death of Jaquan Deangelo Brooks. Shamari Quintero Massey, 26, is charged with accessory after the fact to murder in the incident.
The recently released documents provide the first detailed look at the moments leading up to and the days after Brooks’ death.
Deputies with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) found Brooks, who had been shot several times, lying near a shed in the 800 block of McMilly Road near Shallotte around 10:30 p.m. He was pronounced dead while en route to the hospital.
Following the incident, investigators received numerous tips, at least one of which came through the sheriff’s office’s website, implicating Hill in Brook’s killing, according to an affidavit in support of a search warrant.
“This is in regard to the killing of Juwan (sic) Brooks the guy you should be looking for in speaking to it is named Keontae… he bought (sic) the boys out there that shot Mr. Brooks Kiante (sic) told the guys to shoot Mr. Brooks and he also took them from the crime scene Keontae is a known gang member and the two boys that he had with him,” the tip sent to the BCSO’s website said.
Those tips seemingly led investigators to Hill’s mother, who claimed Brooks confronted her son and punched him in the face, and that another individual then argued with and shot Brooks.
Two days after the shooting, Hill, who is also known as Screw Face, and his brother went to the sheriff’s office to speak with detectives, according to an affidavit in another search warrant. Hill’s account of the incident closely mirrored his mother’s.
“Keontae Trulique Hill advised… Jaquan Brooks struck him in the face with a closed fist,” the affidavit states. “Keontae Trulique Hill stated he was knocked to the ground and his brother… helped him to his feet. Hill said after being helped to his feet he and (his brother) ran from the yard and heard four (4) gunshots coming from the residence.”
Hill added that he and his brother were picked up by another individual, whom Hill did not identify, who drove them away from the scene.
Though it’s not stated why, Hill was then arrested on a narcotics charge and booked at the Brunswick County Detention Center. Hill spent the weekend in jail before making his first court appearance, after which he asked to speak with detectives again about Brooks’ killing.
“During this second interview Keontae Trulique Hill advised the identity of the actual shooter is Amari Tyrese Singleton,” the affidavit states. “Keontae Trulique Hill indicated he told Amari Tyrese Singleton to shoot Jaquan Brooks, after he was assaulted by Jaquan Brooks.”
Hill also implicated Massey as Singleton’s apparent getaway driver, according to the affidavit.
Following their interview with Hill, investigators located and arrested Singleton on an outstanding warrant for an unspecified offense. When interviewed, Singleton initially denied any involvement in the incident, the affidavit states, but ultimately admitted to shooting Brooks.
“Eventually Amari Tyrese Singleton admitted to shooting and killing Jaquan Brooks after being told to do so by Keontae Trulique Hill,” the affidavit states.
Singleton also told investigators Massey drove him away from the scene and admitted to getting rid of the 9mm pistol he used in the shooting. Investigators were unable to locate the pistol, however, despite Singleton taking them to the location he purportedly disposed of it.
That same day, investigators tracked down Massey, who initially claimed he did not give Singleton any rides “to or from the crime scene,” according to the affidavit.
But, like Hill and Singleton before him, Massey eventually changed his story.
“After speaking with detectives he eventually admitted to taking Amari Tyrese Singleton to and from the party,” the affidavit states. Editor’s note: this is the only mention of a “party” in the documents reviewed by WECT.
As of publication, investigators have served 10 search warrants in the case, the majority of which targeting cell phone records and social media accounts of all parties reportedly involved in the incident. A 9mm pistol was found during a search of Hill’s sister’s residence, though it’s unclear if that was the firearm allegedly used in the shooting.
Hill, Singleton and Massey’s next court dates are set for Nov. 27, according to an online court calendar.
Copyright 2019 WECT. All rights reserved.