Prep basketball star arrested in connection to Duluth murder - CBS46 News

Prep basketball star arrested in connection to Duluth murder

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Source: Duluth Police Source: Duluth Police

A high school basketball star from Duluth is facing serious charges in connection to the murder of a man on October 14th.

Tonii Tuner says she’s living just about every parents’ worst nightmare. Her only son, 21-year-old Akeem Turner, was shot to death outside the apartments on Plantation Trace Drive.

“Akeem, he has friends over there in that neighborhood. They set him up,” said his mother.

Police also believe Turner was set up, according to an arrest warrant.

Police say 17-year-old Alexander Powell arranged to meet the victim at the apartments with a plan to rob him. According to the arrest warrant, Powell was in Turner’s car when there was a brief fight between the two. Police say Powell took Turner’s keys to stop him from leaving. That’s when police say a 16-year-old teen fatally shot Turner.

Tonii told reporter Ashley Thompson that her son met the suspects at a local gym.

“I know that Akeem and his cousins play basketball at LA Fitness all the time," she said. "That’s where they know these guys from. They play tournaments.”

A 16 year-old juvenile, who has not been identified, has been charged with felony murder in the case. He's also facing charges of armed robbery and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony.

17-year-old Alexander Powell, a 7-foot-tall basketball player who last played for York Prep in Rock Hill, South Carolina after a career at Duluth High School, has been charged with robbery and assault with intent to commit a crime in connection to the death of 21 year-old Akeem Turner on October 14. 

Tonii said she doesn't understand why the juvenile is being charged with murder, while Powell is not. She said Powell struck a plea deal.

"For these charges to be so lenient, for there to be no murder charge, not even the lowest level of a murder charge is beyond me," she said.

CBS46 reached out to the Gwinnett County District Attorneys office about the case. We were told because it's an active investigation, they're unable to answer questions.

The investigation is ongoing.

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