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Two men indicted on charges in double murder at Wolfe Enterprises

Two men charged in the April 28 double murder in the parking lot of Wolfe Enterprises were indicted Tuesday, according to a news release from the Jackson Police Department.

The jury returned indictments charging Anthony Montrell Swift with two counts of first-degree murder, which is a Class A felony.
The Jackson Police Department

Police said Tuesday that they presented the cases against Anthony Montrell Swift, 31, of Jackson, and Travontay Berry, 27, of Jackson, before the Madison County Grand Jury. The jury returned indictments charging Swift with two counts of first-degree murder, which is a Class A felony.

According to Tennessee Code Annotated 39-13-202, first-degree murder is a premeditated and intentional killing of another. A person convicted of first-degree murder can be punished in the following ways: death, imprisonment for life without the possibility of parole or imprisonment for life.

The jury also returned indictments charging Berry with tampering with evidence ( a Class C felony) and unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon.

Swift and Berry are scheduled to be arraigned in Madison County Circuit Court on Sept. 9.

Police said they were called to a shooting in the parking lot of Wolfe Enterprises, located at 438 East Main Street, around 3 a.m. on April 28. When officers arrived, they found Brian Jontez Banes and Delandis Cortez Clark, both 31 and of Jackson, with multiple gunshot wounds. Both men were transported to Jackson-Madison County General Hospital, where they were later pronounced dead.

Police said two other gunshot victims, Dartalin Pharmer, 32, and Tashonda Davis, 22, arrived at the hospital, via personal vehicles, and were treated and released.

Banes, Davis and Clark knew each other and arrived at the private party together and were inside the party before the shooting occurred, Jackson Police Capt. Tyreece Miller said in May.

James Wolfe, owner of Wolfe Enterprises, said a private graduation party was being held at his business the night of the shooting for a 33 year-old woman who had completed Lane College's LEAP program. The woman has previously asked not to be identified and declined to comment about the shooting.

JPD’s investigation into the shooting revealed there was an argument on the parking lot of Wolfe Enterprises as a party was letting out. Berry was the first person to fire a semi-automatic handgun into the air while he was standing in a crowd of people. Subsequently, Anthony Montrell Swift, 31, of Jackson, walked up to Banes and Clark and shot them multiple times. After the shootings, Berry left the parking lot and disposed of the weapon that he fired.

According to an affidavit of complaint, investigators recovered 38 spent 9mm shell casings at the crime scene.
Swift was arrested on May 7, around 4:30 p.m., by the Jackson Police Department's Gang Unit and the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force. He was arrested from the passenger's side of a van at a house on the 1400 block of North Royal Street. Officers recovered a loaded .45 caliber revolver in the van passenger's side floorboard and Swift also had .45 caliber bullets in his pocket.

Because of the ongoing investigation, Miller said in May that he could not comment on whether any of the victims, those killed or those injured, were gang members or if it was a gang-related shooting. The victims do have criminal backgrounds, but Miller said he could not comment on whether the their records contributed to the shooting.

The double murder prompted a "Stand Against Gun Violence" event, which was hosted by The West Tennessee Cultural Heritage Association from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 18 at Wolf Enterprises. During the event, various community leaders spoke, including pastors, bishops, associate pastors, city councilmen, gospel singers and gospel rappers.

Wolfe also placed a memorial wreath at the south gate of his business complex, in the area where Clark and Banes were found, during the event. Wolfe, along with a dozen people, had a moment of silence before praying around the wreath.