Rival gang activity in Owensboro was discussed Tuesday during a bond hearing for murder suspect Demar’tez Thruston.
While Thruston’s attorney Ramon McGee said his client had no gang affiliation, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Brian Quattrocchi brought up connections between Hopkinsville native Kevin D. White’s homicide and subsequent gang-related violence across the city and county.
Quattrocchi told Circuit Court Judge Jay Wethington Tuesday that two rival gangs — the Bloods and the Gangster Disciples — were believed to be responsible for 36 different shooting incidents across Owensboro.
Wethington said the shooting that took White’s life in March has since prompted additional murders in Owensboro. Thruston and an additional suspect, Talen M. Johnson, 19, were charged for White’s murder.
“I’ve got three or four new murder cases because of this conflict,” Wethington said.
White’s homicide occurred at a “trap house” on W. 8th St. that was known for gambling, drug use and other suspicious activity that wasn’t specified by McGee at Tuesday’s hearing.
Quattrocchi said one of the known Bloods — Tyler Glover — was in the same vehicle that videos allegedly show Thruston exiting around the time White was shot.
Glover, 19, was later injured in a June 2019 shooting at a Whitesville party that resulted in the death of teenagers Amarius Winstead and Jasper Brown.
Chase Simmons, 18, was charged with two counts of murder and second-degree assault for the Whitesville triple shooting, but whether Simmons has ties to either gang has not been said.
McGee said Owensboro was a close-knit, “everyone knows everyone” community, and that Thruston’s close proximity to Glover and Johnson during White’s homicide did not mean his client had ties to any gangs.
Owensboro Police Department Public Information Officer Andrew Boggess said no gang affiliations have been confirmed by OPD in relation to Thruston’s case.