Man Acquitted in FAMU Way Murder, Arrested Again

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By Julie Montanaro
July 1, 2014

A Tallahassee man acquitted of robbery and murder is arrested again two days later.

Dajuan Barnes was one of four men accused of shooting and killing Jessee Rollins on FAMU Way last August 2013.

Last Thursday, a jury found him "not guilty" at trial and he was released from jail.

Tallahassee Police arrested Barnes on Saturday - a little more than 48 hours later - on drug charges.

Court papers say officers stopped a Dodge Magnum on Lake Bradford Road because the window tint was too dark, and a K-9 then did a drug sniff of the car.

Barnes was a passenger in the car. Arrest papers say he had nearly a pound of marijuana under his seat as well as more in his pockets.

Barnes was arrested and taken to jail. Right now he's out on bond.

Assistant State Attorney Jack Campbell - who prosecuted Barnes in the murder case - says he "wasn't surprised" by the new arrest.

"We'll prosecute him for this crime, just like we did for that crime, hopefully with a different result," Campbell said.

By Julie Montanaro
September 19, 2013

Five men have been indicted in a robbery plot turned murder.

Dajuan Barnes, Steven Brown, Brandon Ward and Deron Williams were all indicted on charges of first degree murder, kidnapping and robbery.

A fifth man Octavious Hutchinson was indicted only for robbery.

The men are accused of planning to rob Jessee Rollins.

Arrest reports say on August 20th, Rollins drove up to an apartment on Melvin Way only to be kidnapped at gunpoint. He wound up shot to death in the middle of FAMU Way.

by Julie Montanaro
September 16, 2013

Brandon Ward has been brought back to Tallahassee to face charges of robbery and murder in the shooting death of Jessee Rollins.

Rollins was found dead on FAMU Way August 20th.

Ward is one of five men arrested in the botched robbery and shooting. He was arrested in Lake City on outstanding warrants soon afterward.

Ward was brought back to Tallahassee and made his first appearance before a judge over the weekend. He'll be held without bond until his trial.

A grand jury is expected to review the case later this week.

UPDATED by Julie Montanaro
September 3, 2013

Five men have been arrested in connection with the robbery and murder of Jessee Rollins.

He was found dead on FAMU Way right on the edge of campus. Court papers show it was a robbery gone awry.

Shots rang out on FAMU Way August 20th just before 1am.

Witnesses heard three or four shots and court papers just released show Jessee Rollins was shot in the back of the neck.

Now five men have been arrested accused of plotting a robbery that ended in murder.

"What the motive was I cannot say," Tallahassee Police Spokesman David Northway said. "The only thing I can say to that is the people who were involved know what happened. In the end someone lost their life and this is a terrible tragedy."

Dajuan Barnes, Steven Brown, Deron Williams, Octavious Hutchinson and Brandon Ward have all been arrested in connection with the hold up.

Arrest papers released Tuesday say Rollins pulled up to the Hinson Apartments on Melvin Street to meet one of the men, only to be kidnapped at gunpoint.

Rollins was found dead in the street on FAMU Way about an hour later and arrest papers say his Ford Fusion was found abandoned the next morning on Stearns Street with the front seat burned and the trunk still open.

"It just makes me really upset to think it happened like that. It's really sad, really," FAMU student Latasha Walters said.

Police say surveillance video was critical and so were tips from the pubic.

Word of the arrests is welcome news to FAMU students who started classes just days after the murder.

"Hopefully it won't happen again at least not close to a school campus with a lot of students and a lot of kids living around this campus. So I think it's a good thing," FAMU student Kirvecia Knight said.

Brandon Ward was arrested on an outstanding warrant near Lake City and is in jail there.

We should clarify too that Octavius Hutchinson is charged with robbery, but not with the kidnapping and murder.

Press Release: Tallahassee Police Department

The Tallahassee Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division has arrested several individuals in connection with the homicide of Jessee Rollins.

TPD would like to thank the US Marshal’s North Florida Regional Task Force for their assistance with the apprehension of those arrested.

TPD’s Criminal Investigation Division is continuing its investigation into this homicide and is asking any community members with information about this case to call TPD at 891-4200 or the Big Bend Crime Stoppers at 574-TIPS. Crime Stoppers does not want your name, just your information and you may be eligible for a cash reward.

Steven D. Brown Black Male DOB: 08/27/84
Octavius Hutchinson Black Male DOB: 10/20/87
Derron X. Williams Black Male DOB: 02/24/87
Dajuan Barnes Black Male DOB: 09/24/89
Brandon Ward Black Male DOB: 02/18/88*

*Please note Mr. Ward is currently being held at the Columbia County Jail in connection with this case.

According to the Tallahassee Police Department

Police have released new information in the recent homicide of Jessee Rollins, found shot to death on August 20th in the 400 block of FAMU Way.

Video surveillance collected in the area shows that Rollins arrived at the scene of the crime at 12:46 a.m., and made contact with three individuals, and according to witness accounts, Rollins was robbed and kidnapped on Melvin Street. Witnesses also describe hearing three to four gunshots.

During an interview, Hutchinson said that his friend, Deron Williams, knocked on his door earlier that night and told him that Rollins was kidnapped and carjacked by two unknown black men, one who was armed with a gun. He told police at that point, he drove Williams to Rollin's sister's house to tell her about the incident before contacting police.

Upon consenting to a data search of his cell phone, police found several deleted texts and calls during a time period he said he was asleep that also coincided with the robbery, kidnapping and murder of Jessee Rollins.

Police traced phone calls between Hutchinson and Williams, as well as Brandon Ward, and Steven Brown, and were able to place Brown and Ward around Melvin Street prior to the kidnapping/robbery, subsequently moving to where Rollin's car was found.

On August 30, 2013 Hutchinson came to the Tallahassee Police Department with legal counsel, and told them he agreed to assist the other suspects in the robbery of Jessee Rollins, and then went on to explain the events.

24-year-old Dajuan Barnes, 29-year-old Steven Brown and 26-year-old Deron Williams were arrested over the weekend and charged with the murder of 27-year-old Jessee Rollins.

25-year-old Octavius Hutchinson was also charged with armed robbery.

Press Release: Tallahassee Police Department

At approximately 12:45am on August 20th a passerby call TPD to report a male lying in the roadway in the 400 block of FAMU Way. TPD Patrol Officers along with Fire and EMS responded to the area and discovered the deceased who was the victim of an apparent homicide.

TPD’s Criminal Investigation Division, along with Forensic Technicians responded to the scene and assumed the primary role in the investigation.

TPD’s Criminal Investigation Division is pursuing all leads and asks community members with information about this case to call TPD at 891-4200 or the Big Bend Crime Stoppers at 574-TIPS. Crime Stoppers does not want your name, just your information and you may be eligible for a cash reward.

Update August 21st, 2013

Investigators with TPD’s Criminal Investigation Division have released the name of the victim in this case. They have received several tips and are currently investigating all leads and are interviewing all witnesses. Anyone with information regarding this homicide is asked to call TPD at (850) 891-4200 or Crime Stoppers at (850) 574-TIPS.

Victim: Jessee Rollins, Black Male DOB: 11-15-85

By Matt Galka
August 20, 2013

Tallahassee, FL -- FAMU way, the route many students and employees take to get to and from Florida A&M's campus, `was an active scene shortly before 1 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

"Tallahassee police department received a phone call from a passerby about a male lying in the street," said Tallahassee Police Department public information officer David Northway.

Northway said the man's injuries indicated murder and that they were ruling it a homicide.

The body was discovered less than a block away from FAMU's campus. It was a shocking discovery for students gearing up for classes next week.

"That's extremely discouraging, because I know a lot of Freshman aren't going to want to come in, you know? They've been really excited about having our band back, having our school get all of our accreditation and things, with a murder or body turning up it's not going to be a good look on our school," said senior Bradley Johnson.

Details of the man's identity and cause of death were not released as of Tuesday evening. The crime has cast a shadow on the start of the school year.

"I hope my university is okay. I just want to graduate, I'm so close now, I just want to make it out," said Johnson.

By Garin Flowers
August 20, 2013

Tallahassee Police believe a man found dead in the middle of a street was murdered.

According to TPD, passers-by noticed the man lying on FAMU Way between Wahnish and Adams Street

Police said they got the call around 12:45 a.m. Tuesday.

Once on scene, they found the man's body and searched the area for evidence - shutting down the entire road.

Right now police are treating this as a homicide investigation, but have not released several details, such as the name of the victim or cause of death.

"As soon as the investigators come to a point in the investigation where they will be able to release that information, we will get it out to the public as soon as possible," said David Northway, public information officer with TPD.

According to police, investigators are trying to piece together exactly what happened. At this time they said there's no indication that nearby residents should be concerned.

Victim | Jessee Rollins

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