Defendants Courtney Crutcher and Joseph King are charged with the murder of 24-year-old Ralph Martin and with attempted murder in the shooting of a 20-year-old companion of Martin’s.
The incident occurred at around 4 p.m. on Sept. 2 last year in the 2400 block of Chelsea where investigators said Crutcher and King had arranged to buy some pills from the victims. Instead, the defendants pulled guns and attempted to rob Martin and two companions. Martin was shot and collapsed, while another man who ran a short distance was shot and wounded in the 1300 block of Bryan.
A third man was shot at, but was not injured.
Crutcher, 21, was arrested by federal marshals about a month later in Chattanooga, while King, 28, was arrested shortly after that in Memphis.
Other charges in the indictment include attempted especially aggravated robbery, attempted aggravated robbery, reckless endangerment and employment of a firearm during a dangerous felony.
Both are being held in the Shelby County Jail.
The case is being handled by Ray Lepone, chief prosecutor of the DA’s Multi-Agency Gang Prosecution Unit (MGPU), and by Asst. Dist. Atty. Tracye Jones, also of the specialized unit.
The MGPU prosecutes homicide cases and other violent crimes associated with gang activity, specific targeted gang members and special cases assigned by the District Attorney General.
The prosecution team works daily with the MGU Operations team, using local ordinances and state and federal laws to hold offenders accountable.About half of the unit’s caseload involves of homicides, with the rest involving violent crimes such as aggravated robberies, kidnappings, rapes, attempted murders and narcotics cases.