The Commercial Appeal
Shooter threatened witness
Second-degree murder charge in road rage
Martino Johnson didn’t just shoot and kill Terrelle Beasley after a car accident Monday afternoon, according to Memphis police.
He also pointed the .40-caliber pistol at an eyewitness trying to call 911, threatening to shoot that man as well, according to a police affidavit filed Wednesday.
Johnson, 34, was officially charged Wednesday with second-degree murder and aggravated assault in the death of Beasley, who was shot three times. Johnson is due in court at 8:30 this morning.
This was at least the second homicide involving quarrels over cars in the past three weeks. Harry “Ray” Coleman of Cordova is facing second-degree murder charges in the shooting of Robert “Dutch” Schwerin on Feb. 6.
Beasley’s family was outraged that Johnson wasn’t charged with first-degree murder.
“That’s not fair, no. He killed my son in cold blood. My son was walking away from him. He shot my child in the back,” said Beasley’s mother, Estella Beasley. “As a matter of fact, first-degree is not enough for him. He should face capital (charges).”
About 4:40 p.m. Monday near Binghamton, Johnson was north- bound on Columbia Street, waiting in his Ford Taurus at a stop sign at Ogden Avenue. Beasley, eastbound on Ogden, turned his Honda Civic right onto Columbia, side - swiping the Taurus.
Both men jumped out of their cars and began arguing. Police said Johnson pulled his gun — he had a license to carry it — and shot Beasley, who died about a half-hour later at the Regional Medical Center at Memphis. Johnson went to his home on Ogden and was arrested there by police.
“If you ask me what type of person (Johnson) is, he’s a coward. He’s a cow- ard because you don’t take nobody’s life, for no reason,” Estella Beasley said. “Why should a real man carry a gun? What do you need one for?”
The family was also worried for Beasley’s three daughters, said the victim’s stepfather, Eric Lockhart.
Beasley had a troubled past, including at least four drug charges on his record as well as several traffic-related charges. His family members don’t believe that past had anything to do with his shooting.
“He wasn’t no angel, but he didn’t deserve to be shot down,” Lockhart said. “He wasn’t no bank robber. He wasn’t no thief. He was a man that provided for his children, however he could.”
— Jody Callahan: 529-6531