Father of ‘Grundy Crew’ leader sentenced to time served
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — On the night of January 28, 2014, Tyrece Dorsey and William Davis were gunned down at a North Rural Street convenience store.
Investigators claimed John Means pulled the trigger on orders from gang leader Richard Grundy III and Richard Grundy Jr. watched and called his son with the news.
Earlier this month, the Marion County Prosecutors Office dropped the double murder case against Means, murder charges against Grundy III were long ago dismissed and today Richard Grundy II was sentenced to four years in prison, not for being a lookout on the killings of his son’s rivals, but for being part of the family-run drug empire.
Grundy Jr. served 344 days in the Marion County Jail awaiting trial. He’ll get credit for time served with the rest of his sentence suspended and on probation.
Outside of court, Grundy said, “I’m just glad to get this over with.”
So are investigators and prosecutors as the grand conspiracy and murder case leveled against the Grundy crew has slowly come unraveled over the last three years.
“There was a lack of cooperative witnesses,” said IMPD Homicide Detective Tom Lehn who watched a jury find Means not guilty of another double murder committed just days after the Dorsey and Davis killings. “There’s a lack of physical evidence, it was a circumstantial case we put together the best case we could and in the end it just wasn’t enough for a jury to convict him.”
Keirian Brown is a defense attorney who took on the February 2014 case, when Means was accused of killing Julius Douglas and Carlos Jefferson and later won the acquittal after a first hung jury.
“From the evidence that I’ve seen, there is no smoking gun. There’s no concrete evidence. There are fabrications from people who are in custody or looking to get money or some other advantage,” said Brown who has examined several interconnected aspects of the Grundy-related trials. “The narrative is they aren’t getting cooperation from witnesses, no one’s coming forward, they don’t have any leads because no one’s helping. That’s the narrative that they want you to believe. But in these cases I’ve seen the evidence of the people coming forward, I’ve seen all the statements that people have made. All the interviews they’ve done with various people. It almost seems to be the opposite that they get too much information and they’re overwhelmed and they don’t run it down and it becomes too overwhelming and they almost throw their hands up.”
Throughout the investigation, detectives speculated that the Grundy organization was responsible for upwards of two dozen unsolved homicides, though only four were charged.
Similarly, charges across the board have been dropped and reduced against many Grundy gang members, including the leader who still faces trial in August on drug counts and faces a similar case in Texas.
“They know we’re on to them,” said Lehn who investigated the Hovey Street killings of Douglas and Jefferson. “It slowed things down because of the arrests that were made, things have slowed down as far as the shootings and homicides and in the end we’ve learned something from the investigation.”
The Means charges fell apart due to unreliable witnesses, one who was actually in prison when he claimed to overhear Grundy order his alleged hit man to commit a double killing and another who lied to detectives about her identity.
“But in the meantime we do find with some of the drug trafficking organizations, and those organizations who are responsible for a lot of violent crime in our city, that just our intervention with an arrest sometimes disrupts that flow of drug trafficking or reduces the violence we see in that particular community,” said Deputy Chief of Investigations Jim Waters.
Brown said investigators may have missed their best chances to solve not only the cases Grundy and his crew were accused of, but others that still remain on the books with no suspects identified.
“Once you’ve taken these homicides and alleged that someone has done it and created a whole story around this that turns out to be not supported in fact, you tainted the prosecution of anyone subsequently,” said Brown, a former deputy prosecutor. “There are killers out there who are not being investigated and who are being left to go kill again.”