The two suspects charged in the brutal slaying of a Georgia high school football star Elijah DeWitt gunned down in a Dave & Buster’s parking lot last week made their first court appearance on Wednesday morning following their extradition back from South Carolina.
The hearing for Kemare Bryan, 18, and Chandler Richardson, 19, both from Lawrenceville, Georgia, was scheduled to began around 8 a.m. in Gwinnett County Magistrate Court – hours before mourners are expected to gather for the funeral of 18-year-old DeWitt at Jefferson High School at 6 p.m.
The judge told each defendant, “You’re going to be here for a while,” explaining that only a superior court judge is able to set bond on the felony charges, so they’ll need to wait until another hearing is set.
GEORGIA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL STAR’S GIRLFRIEND SPEAKS OUT ABOUT HARROWING SHOOTING ON COUPLE’S DATE NIGHT
Bryan and Richardson are facing charges of felony murder, malice murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of certain felonies in connection with the murder of DeWitt – a standout wide receiver nicknamed “Eazy E” by NFL legend Cam Newton himself.
The suspects appeared in court wearing the same street clothes they had on when arrested in South Carolina. Both Bryan and Richardson told the judge they had retained representation and did not need an attorney appointed for them. The judge then dismissed them, saying they would be dressed out soon and placed in a housing unit.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital on Tuesday, DeWitt’s longtime girlfriend, Bailey Reidling detailed the aftermath of the harrowing shooting that unfolded during the couple’s date night with friends on Oct. 5 outside the Sugarloaf Mills Mall in Lawrenceville.
“I run over to Elijah, and he’s on the ground, and I go right over to him, and he mouths to me — the last word he said to me was ‘help,’” Reidling told Fox News Digital. “You’re screaming in the moment because you’re in shock. So, it’s like a scream that you don’t try to do, it’s just coming out. I checked his pulse, and I got freaked out because there is nothing going on there. Some sweet lady came around the corner and said, ‘Baby, he just got shot. Calm down. We called 911. They’re already on their way.’”
Two days later, Gwinnett County police announced the arrests of two teen suspects in South Carolina.
Bryan and Richardson were initially held in the custody of South Carolina’s Anderson County Sheriff’s Office before their extradition back to Georgia earlier this week.
Despite their heartbreak and anger, Reidling and DeWitt’s family said they chose to forgive the suspects.
Over the past several days, the community has gathered to honor Elijah with candlelight vigils and a public visitation held at Jefferson Church. “He was an athlete at heart. But I don’t … want people to remember Elijah just as that,” Reidling said. “I just want everyone really to know how much of a light he was.”
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Police have not disclosed a potential motive for the shooting, but Reidling told Fox News Digital that she heard secondhand from DeWitt’s friends that the shooting might have taken place during a robbery gone wrong somehow connected to the exchange of marijuana.