2 teens charged in Hoover veteran's murder now face charges in Pelham

2 teens charged in Hoover veteran's murder now face charges in Pelham

JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - Two teens accused in the murder of an Iraq War veteran in Hoover now face armed robbery charges in Pelham.

Pelham Police Chief Larry Palmer said 16-year-old Charleston Wells of Bessemer and 17-year-old Ahmad Johnson of Birmingham are charged with first-degree robbery and second-degree theft of property stemming from an incident overnight from New Year's Eve into early New Year's Day 2016.

Pelham police said it happened in the early morning hours of Jan. 1, 2016 on Creekside Lane in the Holland Lakes subdivision

"This is an open investigation," Chief Palmer said. "There may be more charges and there may be more people involved."

The bond for each teen is $250,000 for the robbery charges and $5,000 for the theft of property charges in the Pelham case. They have both been charged as adults.

Last week, Jefferson County District Attorney Bill Veitch detailed the Pelham case during a bond hearing for Wells concerning his murder charge in the death of Mike Gilotti of Hoover.

The Iraq War veteran, husband and father of two was fatally shot in the back as he exited his house shortly before 5 a.m. to attend a morning workout.

During that hearing, Veitch said the suspects were in a stolen Chevrolet Silverado in the Pelham subdivision checking for unlocked vehicles. Veitch said the suspects pulled guns on a man sitting in his car outside his home.

Authorities said the suspects stole the man's money and cell phone. A police officer pulled up behind the Silverado and noticed all four windows came down on the vehicle.

The police officer pulled back and called for backup. A chase took place on I-65, but the suspects were lost in Bessemer.

Veitch said the victim's phone was determined to have been used to call Wells' girlfriend.

Hoover Police investigating the murder of Gilotti have connected Wells and Johnson with a Bessemer-area gang known as "M-Tre." Police said they were suspects in car break-ins in several jurisdictions.

During the Wells' bond hearing on Feb. 8, Veitch detailed several cases in addition to the Pelham and Hoover cases.

The prosecutor said four unlocked cars were broken into and a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck was reported stolen on Dec. 28, 2015 in Trussville.

He said shots were fired at a person exiting his Fultondale residence at 4:20 a.m. on Jan. 4. A Chevrolet Malibu was stolen during that incident.

While police have indicated they believe the same suspects were involved, Fultondale Police Chief D.P. Smith said that investigation is still ongoing.

During a hearing Tuesday for Johnson concerning the Gilotti murder, assistant district attorney Lane Tolbert told Judge David Hobdy that prosecutors opposed a bond for Johnson.

"You heard the evidence from Mr. Wells' hearing," Tolbert said. "In Shelby County they have a $250,000 bond for armed robbery."

"They're suspects in Fultondale," he continued. "It all started in Trussville and ended here."

Johnson's attorney Bret Gray said he was not aware of additional charges at the time of the hearing on Tuesday.

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