On Friday, Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck granted the prosecution’s request to combine the trials of two Fort Wayne men accused of shooting up a Three Rivers Ambulance Authority ambulance in September.
In early October, Allen County prosecutors requested to combine the cases of Traneilous L. Jackson, 24, and Dontay D. Martin, 23. The two men are each charged with four counts of attempted murder, two counts of criminal recklessness, one count of carrying a handgun without a license with a prior conviction, one count of criminal gang activity and one count of battery.
According to the prosecutors’ motion, neither Martin nor Jackson has made a statement to law enforcement about what happened that morning.
Indiana law allows two or more defendants to be joined in a single case for a number of reasons, including being charged with the same offenses or if the offenses committed were so closely connected in respect to time, place, and occasion that it would be difficult to separate proof of one charge from proof of the others, according to court documents.
The two men are accused of firing dozens of shots into an ambulance as it transported a man wounded in a stabbing at a north-side nightclub.
The episode began at the Piere’s complex, 5629 St. Joe Road in the early morning of Sept.8. When paramedics and firefighters arrived, they found Jermaine Loyall in serious condition. Medics put him in an ambulance and headed to the hospital.
As they left, they were followed by a black Chevrolet Impala containing two of Loyall’s sisters – Domonic Loyall and Latasha Loyall – and a friend, Lashanda Conwell.
A Crown Victoria driven by Alfonso Chappell, 27, with Jackson in the front passenger seat and Martin in the rear passenger seat, came up on the Impala and the ambulance from behind, court records said. Another man was in the rear driver’s side seat.
At 3:15 a.m., dispatchers got a call from the ambulance requesting emergency assistance, saying they were being shot at. About the same time, one of the women in the Impala called police, saying they had been shot at and she and her friend had been hurt.
Court documents state that both the ambulance and the Impala were hit by 16 to 20 bullets.
A few minutes later, Allen County police officers both on and off duty were able to chase the Crown Victoria and stop it in downtown Fort Wayne. Martin and the other man in the car jumped out and ran but were soon caught by police. The handgun connected to Martin was found in the area of the chase, according to court documents.
Paramedic Jeromy Yadon was struck with bullet fragments, glass and shrapnel, suffering injuries to his left arm and side. The two other emergency workers in the ambulance were uninjured, according to court documents.
Latasha Loyall suffered 10 gunshot wounds in various places on her body, and Domonic Loyall was shot once in the forearm, according to court documents.
Martin and Jackson are tentatively set to stand trial together in February. Surbeck scheduled another hearing on the motion to consolidate the cases for this month to give defense attorneys another chance to argue against it.