Suspect had prior drug charge
HUNTINGTON — A suspected drug dealer now faces murder and armed robbery allegations. The most recent warrants were signed Tuesday in connection with last week’s shooting death of a man from Ona.
The warrants charge Thomas Antonio Redding, 20, of Macon, Ga., with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery.
Criminal complaints charge that Redding fatally shot Billy James Gregory Jordan, 20, during the commission of an armed robbery. It occurred July 7 at 9th Avenue and 27th Street.
Jordan met Redding at the location, so the victim could exchange money for drugs. The investigation shows that Redding stole $3,500 cash form the victim, the robbery complaint states. Witnesses and evidence obtained at the crime scene show that Redding was present and fired a weapon that struck Jordan, the murder complaint states.
Jordan later died at Cabell Huntington Hospital. Investigators said an autopsy determined the victim died from a single gunshot wound to the back.
Cabell County Magistrate Mike Woelfel denied bond for Redding at Tuesday’s video arraignment. A preliminary hearing was set for July 24.
Jordan’s sister, Kattie Walters, commended the Huntington Police Department for its quick arrest. Walters said she was unaware of the apparent drug connection until media reports surfaced Tuesday.
“The Huntington Police Department did a phenomenal job investigating Billy’s case,” she said. “We are just overwhelmed with the apprehension.”
Huntington Police Sgt. John Williams, lead detective on the case, was careful in commenting about the investigation. He expressed confidence in regards to the murder and robbery charges, but said another arrest may occur. He said detectives were trying to determine another person’s involvement and possible culpability. That person’s name was not released.
Woelfel signed the warrants as Redding sat in jail on an unrelated, felony bond revocation from last week. He was incarcerated at 6:15 p.m. Thursday. He was never released.
The bond revocation stems from a March 4 drug raid at a residence in the 1800 block of West 5th Avenue. Authorities nabbed three people, all from Macon, Ga., and seized $7,000 in crack cocaine, numerous weapons and an undisclosed amount of cash.
The Macon trio’s drug case was moved to Cabell Circuit Court on March 16. Prosecutors moved to revoke Redding’s bond on Thursday. An order followed, and Redding was returned to jail. The drug case remains in a bound over phase, as it waits presentment to the grand jury for possible indictment.
Family members said Jordan had been staying at a cousin’s residence in Huntington.
Jordan was scheduled to appear twice this month in Cabell County Magistrate Court, where records indicate he had misdemeanor domestic battery, driving under the influence, underage consumption, driving on a suspended/revoked license and marijuana possession charges pending.
Jordan’s record also included seven earlier misdemeanors. He admitted to disorderly conduct in 2007, but most of the other cases were dismissed.
Jordan’s girlfriend and mother said last week they believe Jordan's prior history was irrelevant to the fatal shooting. They remembered Jordan as an outgoing person, who charmed everybody and frequently worked at his father’s excavation business. The girlfriend declined comment Tuesday, and Walters spoke on behalf of the family.
The shooting was Huntington’s first homicide this year. The last one occurred Dec. 3, 2008, in a year when city police investigated eight homicides.