By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Two-defendant murder trial slated for a Bulloch County jury next week
Carter and Cooper accused in September 2019 shooting death of Dexter Dunbar in Statesboro
cooper cartercomp
Brendyn Laroy Carter, left, and Thomas Isreal Cooper, right, are scheduled for a Bulloch County Superior Court jury trial beginning Monday, Oct. 18, each on a malice murder charge for the Sept. 15, 2019, shooting death of Dexter Dunbar at an apartment complex on Statesboro’s Lanier Drive.

Two Sylvania men in their early 20s, Brendyn Laroy Carter and Thomas Isreal Cooper,  are scheduled for a Bulloch County Superior Court jury trial beginning Monday, Oct. 18,  each on  a malice  murder charge for the  Sept. 15, 2019, shooting death of Dexter Dunbar at an apartment  complex  on  Statesboro’s  Lanier  Drive.

Dunbar, 27, also of Sylvania, died after being shot following an apparent quarrel near Stadium Walk Apartments, a Statesboro Police Department spokesman said at that time.  On Sept. 25, 2019, a grand jury returned an indictment finding probable cause to accuse both Carter and Cooper “individually and as parties concerned in the commission of a crime” of committing murder with malice aforethought by shooting Dunbar in the chest.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt but only a grand jury’s majority decision, based on a presentation of evidence by prosecutors, that charges should go to trial. The indictment also charged Cooper with possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and identified that firearm as a .40-caliber pistol.

Carter was 22 years old and Cooper 20 at the time of their arrest.

The shooting at Stadium Walk that Saturday-to-Sunday night in September 2019 was noted as having occurred at approximately 1:47 a.m. by Statesboro police officers who reported hearing gunshots while investigating a separate shooting that occurred earlier that evening of two men at the nearby Cambridge at Southern-The Pines apartment complex. Those two men survived.

But Dunbar, found shot inside the Stadium Walk complex, did not, despite efforts by a Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office deputy who also responded to assist. He used supplies from a medical bag kept in his patrol car in an effort to stem the bleeding and performed CPR until Emergency Medical Service personnel arrived, the SPD spokesman reported at the time.

Bulloch County EMS transported Dunbar to East Georgia Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The case pending against Carter and Cooper was originally assigned to Ogeechee Circuit Superior Court Judge Michael T. Muldrew, but Senior Judge John R. Turner was recently assigned to conduct the trial beginning at 9 a.m. Monday.

Assistant District Attorneys Russell Jones and Barclay Black are expected to present the state’s case. Carter and Cooper are represented by Statesboro defense attorneys Sims Lanier and Malone Hart, respectively.  The trial has been allotted up to four days, Monday through Thursday, on the court calendar.

Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter