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Coroner's jury returns homicide verdicts on 2 Decatur gunshot victims

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DECATUR — A Macon County Coroner’s jury returned verdicts of homicide on two Decatur gunshot victims whose murderers remain at large and who both may have been the victims of unrelated “ambush” style killings.

Nicholas O. Demmer, 35, died of a gunshot wound to the head in the early hours of Aug. 26 and his body was found in the backyard of a house in the 1000 block of East Main Street.

Decatur Police Detective Brad Hall told the jury evidence and bullet casings found by the body and another location nearby suggest there had been some kind of gun battle. He said police had initially responded to the area after receiving multiple shots-fired calls from the public.

“There were two other people that were involved in this incident that were shot and both survived their gunshot wounds,” he added. No weapon had been found with Demmer’s body.

Coroner Michael E. Day asked Hall if there had been evidence of any kind of argument or conflict before the gunfire broke out, and Hall said there had not.

“Would it appear that this may have been some type of ambush situation?” asked the coroner.

“Potentially, yes,” replied the detective.

Day told the jurors that a forensic examination of Demmer’s body determined the shot that killed him was fired from so close it left “stippling” marks on his skin from the force of the blast. And a spent shell casing matching the caliber of the fatal bullet was found within the hood of his sweatshirt.

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Hall said after the hearing that the killer had not been caught and the jury would later hear that the murderer of 19-year-old Aidarrius A. Woods, who died from a gunshot wound to the head Sept. 10, had also not been found.

Brian Kaylor, another detective with Decatur Police, said Woods’s death had been captured on a doorbell camera surveillance video.

Kaylor said the killing happened just after 6 a.m. in the 500 block of West Macon Street. Woods’s mother had come out of the house and was waiting in a car on the driveway to take him to work. Kaylor said that Woods is seen leaving the house a minute later.

“And before he is able to walk off of the porch, you hear the sound of gunfire and he falls to the ground,” Kaylor added.

The shot appeared to come from some distance away and again Day asked if it had been preceded by any kind of confrontation, and Kaylor replied that it had not.

“So it would appear this was an ambush-type situation?” asked Day, and the detective agreed it was possible.


Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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