Man accused in Lester Street murders appears in court - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Lori Brown

Man accused in Lester Street murders appears in court

Updated:
Jessie Dotson (courtesy Shelby-Sheriff.org) Jessie Dotson (courtesy Shelby-Sheriff.org)
Jessie Dotson in court Monday. Jessie Dotson in court Monday.

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The man charged with murdering six people inside a home on Lester Street, and the attempted murder of three more children, went face-to-face with a judge Monday.

Jessie Dotson is charged with six counts of first degree murder and three counts of attempted murder. In court Monday, Dotson showed no emotion as he heard the charges against him.

No family members of Jessie Dotson, or his brother Cecil Dotson, were in court Monday, nor were any family members of the other victims.

Prosecutors Ray Lepone said Dotson's family was having a tough time dealing with the fact one of their own might be responsible for the Lester Street Massacre.

"They were shocked," he said. "They could not believe what they were involved in, as you can imagine."

Investigators announced over the weekend that Jesse Dotson allegedly killed his brother Cecil Dotson.  To cover up the crime, they said, he went on the to kill three more adults and two children inside the home at 722 Lester.

Dotson allegedly attempted to kill three other children inside the home.  Lepone said prosecutors haven't shut any doors when it comes to whether or not more people were involved in the killings.

"This is an ongoing investigation," he said. "We'd rather not comment on that."

A potential conflict of interest at the public defender's office prevented the appointment of an attorney for Dotson on Monday. Officials said an attorney with the public defender's office was at the hospital with the surviving children, and could become potential witness during trial.

Dotson is set to be back in court Tuesday to be appointed an attorney who is not with the public defender's office. Officials said the attorney must be qualified to take on a death penalty case if that's the route prosecutors decide to take.

"There could be other info about this case that could impact that," prosecutor Reginal Henderson said.

Dotson's conviction 14 years ago for another homicide is a qualifying factor for the death penalty.


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