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Cousins held with no bond in homicides of ASU football player, stepfather

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Two cousins were arraigned and ordered held without bond Tuesday morning in the Jan. 15 double homicide of 21-year-old Markel Demario Owens, an Arkansas State University defensive lineman, and his stepfather.

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Johnny Lorenzo Wade, 19, and his cousin, 22-year-old Derrick Andreaus Wade, were both arraigned on two counts of felony murder of Markel Owens and Owens’ stepfather, 36-year-old Johnny Shivers, in the perpetration of especially aggravated robbery. They are also charged with attempted first-degree murder of Owens’ 37-year-old mother, Chermaine Owens, especially aggravated robbery of Shivers, aggravated assault of Owens’ 16-year-old brother and tampering with evidence.

Both men were arraigned Tuesday morning in Jackson City Court, via video link.

Derrick Wade (who was shot in the thigh during the Jan.15 incident) was in a wheelchair when he was arraigned. Between his moans and groans, he answered Jackson City Court Judge Blake Anderson’s questions.

Derrick Wade told Anderson that he is on parole for a 2010 aggravated burglary and has no other cases pending.

He also told the judge that he has lived in Jackson all of his life, has no drug or alcohol problems and no mental problems.

During Johnny Wade’s arraignment, he told Anderson that he has also lived in Jackson all of his life and that he has no record and has never been on parole or probation.

Johnny Wade also told the judge that he was laid off from work a month ago.

Anderson ordered that both men be held without bond.

The Wades’ preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 30 at 9:30 a.m.

Around 9:30 p.m. Jan. 15, officers were dispatched to an apartment duplex, located at 770 Walker Road. Chermaine Owens was lying in the front yard with a gunshot wound, according to a news release from Jackson police.

Markel Owens and Shivers were both found with gunshot wounds inside the apartment. Police said Shivers was apparently deceased on the scene, but Markel Owens was transported to the Jackson-Madison County General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Chermaine Owens was treated for her injuries and was released that night from Jackson-Madison County General Hospital.

The release said JPD investigators believe the robbers specifically targeted Shivers. A large amount of marijuana was found inside the apartment and while the motive of the incident is still under investigation, JPD believes the robbers knew that the marijuana and/or the cash they stole was inside the apartment.

JPD investigators said they learned that Shivers and his 16-year-old son had arrived home when two masked men, identified by investigators as the Wades, rushed Shivers and the teen and forced them inside the apartment, where Markel Owens and his mother were. The Wades, armed with handguns, demanded money and a struggle began.

Markel Owens helped Shivers and began fighting one of the men, the release said. It was during the struggle that Shivers and Owens were both shot.

One of the gunmen then shot Markel Owens’ mother.

Jackson Police Capt. Tyreece Miller has said police believe Markel Owens was protecting his family when he was shot.
Police said the men got away with a large amount of cash.

Funeral services for Markel Owens and Shivers were held Monday at 1 p.m. at New St. Luke Baptist Church. Burial was in Highland Memorial Gardens following the funeral.

Jackson police are asking that anyone with information about this crime contact the Jackson Police Department's Major Crimes Bureau at 731-425-8400 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 731-424-8477 (TIPS). You can also submit a cyber tip at jmcrimestoppers.org and click on “web tips.”

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