Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Jesssie Dotson, Lester Street killer, slaughtered his brother, and the kids and . . .

Mike Maple / The Commercial Appeal
Stuffed animals around a telephone pole at Lester and Faxon Saturday memorialize the victims of the Lester Street massacre. This view is looking north on Lester.

Sibling argument led to Lester Street mass murder, police say
Trevor Aaronson (Contact) and Kristina Goetz (Contact),
Memphis Commercial Appeal / Saturday, March 8, 2008

In a mass murder so gruesome it garnered international attention and caused police to consider gang conflict, a child witness led investigators to a family member who confessed to the brutal killings.

Jessie Dotson, 33, was charged Saturday with six counts of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted first-degree murder. Dist. Atty. Gen. Bill Gibbons said he would announce in the coming days whether his office will seek the death penalty.

During an argument with his brother at 722 Lester, Jessie Dotson pulled out a semi-automatic handgun and shot Cecil Dewayne Dotson, police allege. He then slaughtered the others in the house, including children, in an attempt to cover up the shooting.

Cecil Dotson, 30; Marissa Rene Williams, 27; Hollis Seals, 33; and Shindri Roberson, 22, were shot and killed.

Jessie Dotson also stabbed and killed two of his nephews, Cemario Dotson, 4, and Cecil Dotson II, 2, both sons of Cecil, police say.

"It is our belief that when Jessie left the home, he believed everyone in the home was dead," Police Director Larry Godwin said during a Saturday press conference. "But as we all know, by the grace of God, three children survived."

Cecil Dotson Jr., about 9; Cedric Dotson, about 6; and Ceniyah Dotson, about 2 months old, survived being attacked with a knife and are in treatment under protective custody at Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center.

For Dotson, the gruesome killings on Lester Street made for an end to what was at times a hostile relationship with his family, arrest records show. His teenage home at 600 S. Lauderdale was a volatile place, where he regularly fought with neighbors and siblings.

In 1990, at age 15, Dotson was charged with disorderly conduct for making threats against his mother as she tried to discipline him.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I seen this story last night! I could not beleive that anyone could do this to their family. I will pray for this family, I am so sorry and hurt at the same time.