For Michael Dickerson, justice delayed may not end up being justice denied.
The Davidson County grand jury last week indicted five local men on charges of first-degree murder and especially aggravated kidnapping in the 1996 killing of the 18-year-old Dickerson (read indictment here). The suspects are accused of seizing him at a home in Bordeaux on Dec. 9, 1996, beating him as they tried to get information about his brother, and then shooting him at least 12 times and dumping his body into a Joelton ravine.
Salvagers trying to recover a wrecked car from the area discovered the corpse a month later. It had been thrown over a ledge on a section of Whites Creek Pike known as Devil's Elbow.
Dickerson left behind an infant son.
The indictment names two suspects arrested by Metro Police Cold Case Unit detective Norris Tarkington last year, Glenn Daniel Sharber III and Carlos Lemont Lewis, both 30 years old. Both were minors at the time of the crime but have been charged as adults. It also names Sharber's father, Glenn Daniel Sharber Jr., 49, as well as Frank Blair IV, 31, and Thomas Lee Carey Jr., 33.
The grand jury previously indicted the Sharbers and Carey for the murder in 1998, but prosecutors dropped the charges the following year, apparently for lack of evidence. During a court appearance by Lewis last year, a jailhouse informant testified anonymously that Lewis had spoken of the killing while the two were high on drugs.
The charges carry the potential for a death sentence or life without parole. Prosecutors have not yet signaled what punishment they intend to seek.
All of the accused have extensive criminal records, and Tarkington has said that some were connected to the Crips and Rolling 60s gangs in the 1990s.