Cantrell, Ward arrested for capital murder, robbery
MADISON – Two Huntsville men have been charged with capital murder and first-degree robbery following the murder of Jason Ender West at Sonic drive-in, 11396 County Line Road in Madison on Dec. 26.
Capt. Terrell Cook in Investigations with Madison Police Department held a press conference on Dec. 27 with details about the crime.
On Dec. 26 at 3:04 p.m., Madison Police Department responded to shooting at Sonic restaurant on County Line Road. A victim on the scene had been shot once in the parking lot and was transported to Huntsville Hospital. Witness reports indicated a possible suspect fled the scene in a vehicle.
“It was later determined that the victim succumbed to his injuries at Huntsville Hospital. The victim has been identified as 18-year-old Jason Ender West of Madison,” Cook said.
Detectives were able to locate a vehicle matching the description given by witnesses. Further investigation led to the apprehension of two suspects. The investigation revealed that the victim was shot during a robbery possibly involving an illegal narcotics transaction.
Madison police officers have charged 22-year-old Dacedric Deshun Ward of Huntsville and 19-year-old Trevor Davis Cantrell of Huntsville with Capital Murder and Robbery 1st, Cook said. Ward and Cantrell were taken to Limestone County Jail.
Bond will be set at a hearing at a later date. They are being held without bond now.
One suspect was picked up in Huntsville and one in Madison, Cook said. Both suspects were taken into custody, brought to Madison Police Department and later charged.
Cook could not disclose what type of narcotics were involved. He said it’s possible the victim knew the suspects but could not elaborate with the ongoing investigation. The Street Crime Units will be active in continuing to crack down on these types of crimes.
“We pride ourselves with having a low crime rate here in City of Madison and work very hard to keep it that way,” Cook said. “While these events do happen — we have seen an increase in 10 years — it’s still an isolated occurrence in Madison.”
At this time, police believe that the shooting occurred after an altercation at Sonic. Some teenagers on-site knew the victim. “It’s a tragic situation. We’ve seen a trend. Most victims of this type of heinous crime have been young males,” Cook said.
This type of crime “is a trend with the younger crowd. It’s very important that parents are aware who their teens are hanging out with, who their friends are and where they go,” Cook said.
The offense occurred in Limestone County, and suspects had to be taken to Limestone County Circuit Court system. Limestone County District Attorney’s Office also provided assistance.
“Throughout the investigation, we’ll work closely with the Limestone County District Attorney’s Office. We’re partnering with them to make sure that they have everything they need for the investigation,” Cook said.
The murder investigation was “very tough for us to respond to this. We have lots of young officers who even have sons this age,” Cook said. “We will work diligently with surrounding agencies and fight crime the best we can.”
Cook does not see Sonic as a site for illegal drug activity.
In reference to the proximity to James Clemens High School, “School Resource Officers are aware of the situation and have been brought into the loop early. School leaders are aware,” Cook said.
The murder victim was a December 2016 graduate of James Clemens, Cook said.
The murder stands as the only homicide in Madison for 2016.