A Columbia County jury Wednesday convicted Keiyon’tre Merritt of first-degree murder and other charges in a 2013 shooting that left 29-year-old Christopher McConell dead and 48-year-old Elijah Dunning shot.
The incident happened at 1:52 a.m. June 27, 2013, in front of 742 N.W. Alma Avenue. The victims drove themselves to Shands Lake Shore Hospital, where McConnell (pictured below) died.
Merritt is scheduled to be sentenced on the murder charge, along two counts of armed robber and one count of attempted murder at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
Merritt and a second suspect, Deion-Tay Jones, were arrested about a week after the double shooting. Jones pleaded guilty in November 2013 to armed robbery and attempted murder. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison. As part of his plea agreement, Jones agreed to testify against Merritt.
“Being one day away from the sentencing of our final murder suspect hopefully brings both of the victims' families one step closer to finding some closure in this case,” said Lake City Police Chief Argatha Gilmore. “I am extremely proud of the hard work put into this case by investigator David Greear and the assistance provided to us by the various agencies involved in apprehending both of these young men so quickly.”