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Gino Nicolas case: Accused 'retaliation' attackers get bond

An Orange County man is accusing two people, including a homegrown professional basketball player, of carrying out a "retaliation" shooting in the name of Parramore youth leader Gino Nicolas, who was killed in a drive-by shooting last month, according to court documents.

But the two suspects — former NBA D-League player Eric Griffin and Daquan Lundy — arrested April 29 on attempted first-degree murder charges provided alibis and were both granted bond by Thursday without opposition from prosecutors, an indication the case against them may be weak.

Griffin, 25, and Lundy, 23, assert they were wrongly implicated in the crime.

The men are friends of Nicolas, 24, who worked in the community mentoring young, black men as part of a nationwide initiative started by President Barack Obama called My Brother's Keeper.

The April 16 shooting at a Parramore apartment complex that killed Nicolas and another innocent woman, 46-year-old mother Tanya Skeen, incited outrage from city officials who worked with him. It also left four others, including Lundy, injured.

One week later, Treavor Glover reported a shooting at his Orange County apartment complex, where a bullet grazed his forehead, according to an Orange County Sheriff's Office report. Glover told deputies two men chased him with guns about 1:21 a.m. as he was getting out of his car and fired at him at least four times from close range.

Glover thought, the report states, it was "retaliation" for the shooting of Nicolas, his girlfriend's brother. Glover said one of his friends is a suspect in that case, and he was targeted for associating with him.

At first, Glover said he could describe the suspects in enough detail for a sketch: one seemed to be 6 feet 2 inches tall. About 12 hours later, Glover contacted detectives with more information and named Griffin and Lundy as the shooters, saying he realized after "the adrenaline and pain wore off."

Glover said he saw them at a nightclub over the weekend, and Griffin exchanged texts with Glover's girlfriend.

Sheriff's deputies arrested Griffin and Lundy shortly after. The agency would not comment further on the case, citing the ongoing investigation.

Both suspects have since been granted bond. Prosecutors did not argue against it and told the judge about the possibility of an alibi.

At a bond hearing May 5, Griffin presented evidence from his alarm system showing he was home at the time of the reported shooting.

A video shows him walking in the hallway about an hour before the shooting with the alarm set, and there is no alarm entry until the next morning, according to attorneys. The judge set Griffin's bond at $15,000, and he has been released.

At the second bond hearing Thursday, Lundy told attorneys he was at a strip club during the shooting, from where his girlfriend picked him up. Prosecutors are checking to see if the venue has surveillance video. A judge set Lundy's bond at $7,500.

Attorneys for both suspects pointed to a lack of corroboration for the eyewitness testimony.

Eric Barker, Griffin's attorney, said it was odd the victim did not immediately identify the suspects if he knew them and described one as seven inches shorter than Griffin, who stands at 6 feet 9 inches tall.

"It's disjointed, it doesn't make a lot of sense," Barker said. "There's a whole lot of questions."

Copyright © 2016, Orlando Sentinel

Source: Orlando Sentinel

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