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Decatur man gets 3 years for role in gun deal that led to fatal shooting

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DECATUR — Jaquarius L. West, one of the key players in an illegal gun deal that led to a fatal shootout in the restroom of a Decatur restaurant, is now serving a three-year prison sentence.

West, 20, had been scheduled to face trial Sept. 13 on multiple alternate murder counts in the Jan. 4, 2019, shooting death of 18-year-old Curtis T. Hairston at the former Long John Silver’s restaurant on West Eldorado Street.

Jaquarius L. West


But West took a plea deal negotiated by defense attorney Susan Moorehead when he made an unscheduled appearance in Macon County Circuit Court July 8. He admitted an additional charge of obstructing justice in the case, and Presiding Judge Thomas Griffith then dismissed all the alternate murder counts.

Commenting on the case Thursday, Macon County State’s Attorney Scott Rueter said this was a fair outcome as the man who fatally shot Hairston, Matthew A. Anderson Jr., 22, was sentenced to 50 years in prison in July after being convicted of first degree murder by a jury.

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Rueter said the evidence was that West had been involved in setting up the gun exchange deal with Hairston and obstructing justice afterward, but had not played a role in the shooting itself.

“We never got the impression that he was a planner in terms of what happened in terms of that shooting,” said Rueter. “He definitely was a planner in the gun exchange idea and knew that was going to go down. But we never got an absolute sense that he had knowledge that a shootout was going to occur or was planned.”

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Rueter said his office was prepared to deal with West on different terms in the wake of securing the conviction of Anderson on the murder charge.

As part of his sentence, West was given credit for time spent in custody from Jan. 16, 2019, until July 7, 2021.

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


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