Affidavit: Athens teens killed while trying to rob man of gun
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Newly available documents reveal that one of two East Texas men accused in the murder of Athens teenagers may have set up his co-defendant to be robbed.
According to an arrest affidavit, on the night of Thursday, March 23, Aaron Johnson, 20, of Tyler, was attempting to trade an AR-15 rifle in exchange for a Springfield XD 9mm pistol and $400 to someone known only as “ASG.” To make the trade, Johnson and a third party were told to meet with ASG’s associates, Donovan Travis Dodd, 19, and Ladarius Jackson, 17, in the parking lot of Royal Crest Apartments in Tyler. Johnson told investigators that, once at the meeting place, he entered the backseat of an SUV, with Dodd and Jackson in the front. The affidavit states that Johnson passed the AR-15 to Dodd before attempting to grab a handful of cash from Jackson, who refused to let go of it. Jackson then fired a single shot from the Springfield XD, which hit Johnson in the leg. Johnson said he then took the pistol from Jackson before firing seven rounds into Jackson and Dodd. Investigators said Johnson told them he then exited the vehicle and fled to a nearby residence where he called for EMS. Both Dodd and Jackson died.
On the day after the shooting, Nicholas Hudson, 18, of Malakoff, was interviewed by Tyler police and allegedly admitted to coordinating the initial exchange, posing as ASG. According to the affidavit, a cellphone seized from Johnson was examined and revealed to have a photo of Hudson associated with the phone number for ASG in messages relating to the exchange of the AR-15 and the Springfield XD. Additionally, investigators said Hudson admitted that he was aware Dodd and Jackson planned to rob Johnson after he handed over the AR-15.
Johnson remains in the Smith County Jail on a charge of capital murder with a $2 million bond. Hudson also remains in the Smith County Jail on two counts of murder with $1 million bond each.
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