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No bail for suspect in fatal Largo drive-by shooting

LARGO — At his first court appearance Thursday afternoon, Larry Joe Jerry Jr. was ordered held without bail on one count of capital murder and four counts of attempted murder.

Jerry, who is accused of opening fire on a group of women Tuesday morning, killing one, was the subject of an intense manhunt before he was brought to the Pinellas County Jail by a bondsman just before midnight Wednesday.

"He was in custody, was restrained, when he was brought in," said Largo police spokesman Lt. Mike Loux.

Loux said Thursday afternoon he did not have details about whether the bondsman tracked Jerry down or if Jerry called the bondsman to surrender.

During Thursday's court appearance, Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Lorraine Kelly asked Jerry if he could afford an attorney.

"Not right now," Jerry said. "My family is trying to get up the money.''

The judge said a public defender will be appointed to represent Jerry.

The felon with a history of battery and drug arrests is accused of killing 26-year-old Annie Marie Conyers in the drive-by shooting at the Rainbow Food Mart on Tuesday morning.

No one from Jerry's family or Conyers' family attended Thursday's hearing.

Tuesday's attack took place about 10:30 a.m. outside the convenience store at 2575 East Bay Drive.

Conyers, three other women and a small child had just pulled up to the store when Jerry ambushed them from a rented SUV, police said.

One woman stayed in the driver's seat with a 1-year-old girl in a car seat in the back. Conyers and two other women got out and were walking into the store when Jerry started shooting at them with a 9mm semiautomatic pistol, according to police.

The other two women managed to duck into the store. The woman in the car sped off. But Conyers was hit in the lower torso, police said, and died in a hospital hours later.

New details about the attack emerged Thursday from court documents.

According to a complaint filed Wednesday, a witness told police that Jerry got out of the SUV and fired six rounds at the women and child.

That witness and another told police that Jerry got back into the SUV, drove about 75 feet and stopped. Jerry then got out of the SUV and walked up to Conyers, who was crouched down between two parked cars.

The witnesses said Jerry pointed the gun at Conyers before going back to the SUV and getting into the driver's seat. From the vehicle, he shot again at Conyers.

Jerry was identified as the shooter by his half-sister, Adrianna Grimsley, who was the driver of the car that sped off after Jerry shot at it.

The two women who were walking into the store with Conyers also were named in the complaint. They were identified as Shateardra Woods and Latresae Brown.

Police found the SUV on Tuesday night in Clearwater. Largo police did not say Thursday if they had recovered the gun used in the shooting.

Largo police also said Thursday they have not released a possible motive in the attack because it hasn't been fully determined. The multitude of people detectives have interviewed have offered conflicting theories, Loux said.

"Its not 100 percent clear right now," Loux said. "We've talked to so many different people. He could be mad at his sister. He could be mad at the world. He could be mad at his girlfriend. We're just not sure right now."

The investigation's primary focus since Tuesday has been to get Jerry off the streets, Loux said.

"Now, we'll backtrack and start looking at all of that," he said.

Loux said detectives had not interviewed Jerry. "He did not want to speak with us," Loux said.

Jerry's half-sister Malaya Pelham told the St. Petersburg Times that she didn't believe her brother was aiming at Conyers. He was aiming at the other two women, she said, because he believed they were interfering in his relationship with the mother of his 2-year-old daughter.

But accounts provided by witnesses seem to dispute that, as it appears Jerry targeted Conyers.

Arrest records show that Jerry has been repeatedly arrested over the past four years for assaulting the mother. He was also sent to prison in 2003 for possession of cocaine with intent to sell.

Pelham described her brother as violent and "crazy" and said he nearly shot members of his own family in Tuesday's incident, including his half-sister and her child, Jerry's 1-year-old niece

One of Jerry's bullets penetrated her car seat, Pelham said.

According to jail records, Jerry was booked in at 11:53 p.m. Wednesday. He also faces felony charges of being a habitual offender of driving with a license suspended or revoked, driving with a license suspended or revoked, and two counts of fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer.

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No bail for suspect in fatal Largo drive-by shooting 12/02/10 [Last modified: Thursday, December 2, 2010 4:06pm]
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