One of three men charged in an April 2016 shooting incident in which shots hit a Jefferson City school bus has pleaded guilty to a charge against him in the case.
Jermaine Gray, 26, of Springfield, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a controlled substance as part of a plea agreement during a Thursday hearing before Audrain County Judge Jason Lamb. The case had been moved on a change of venue.
Charges of first-degree assault, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of armed criminal action that had been filed against Gray were dismissed in earlier proceedings.
Another man charged in this case, Royce Kemp, 23, of Jefferson City, was sentenced in February 2017 to 10 years in prison for pleading guilty to an amended charge of second-degree assault as part of a plea bargain deal. He had been charged with first-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of armed criminal action.
A third man, Craig Hawkins, 20, of Jefferson City, was identified as being in the vehicle at the time of the shooting by one of the victims in this case; however, charges that had been filed against him after the shooting were dismissed in 2017.
The shooting occurred in the 500 block of East Elm Street, court documents show.
Investigators found eight spent shell casings in the street.
Later, it was learned a man had been taken to Capital Region Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening gunshot wounds to his face and left thumb.
A school bus carrying 21 students from East Elementary School was traveling along East Dunklin Street, near the intersection with Marshall Street, at the time of the shooting. The bus was hit four times by bullets, one of which broke a window.
The driver of the bus said she had heard gunshots then heard bullets hit the bus.
Witnesses told authorities the shots had been fired from a vehicle traveling through the area. Investigators got video from surveillance cameras in the area and saw a vehicle stop in the 500 block of East Elm Street and shots being fired from it.
The vehicle was located under a tarp in the 200 block of Dawson Street. An examination of the vehicle found a bullet hole on the rear driver's-side window. There were also two spent .40 caliber shell casings found on the hood of the car.
After Gray and Kemp were taken into custody, Kemp said Gray was driving, and he was a passenger. A victim also identified Gray as the driver.
Gray and Kemp were taken into custody after officers stopped their vehicle in the 1200 block of East McCarty Street for a narcotics violation. Kemp was believed to have been selling narcotics. Detectives saw Kemp and Gray place a laundry basket in the trunk of the vehicle.
During a search of the vehicle, authorities found a small bag of marijuana weighing just more than 1 gram in the glove compartment. Behind the glove compartment, officers found a bag containing nearly 25 grams of marijuana along with 9 grams of marijuana individually packaged in 1-gram bags.
A 9mm gun was found next to the marijuana, and Gray told authorities they would find another 9mm gun in the laundry basket in the trunk. Next to that gun were two bags totaling nearly 58 grams of marijuana. An electronic scale and several rounds of ammunition were also found. Gray had more than $1,130 in cash in his pockets when he was arrested.
When questioned by authorities, Kemp said someone started shooting at them, but he was unaware of anyone returning fire.