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Single beating trial urged for 6

Kulon Lewis Jr.
Charles Louis Phillips Jr.

In a rare move, especially with this many potential defendants, prosecutors have asked to try six men together in a case stemming from a November battery.

Earlier this month Allen County deputy prosecutors Jason Custer and Jesus Trevino asked that the cases against Kulon Lewis Jr., 20; Andrew M. Gibson, 18; Justin Dawson, 18; Curtis Williams, 20; Ervin Herman, 19; and Charles Louis Phillips Jr., 18, be consolidated.

All six men are charged with felony criminal confinement and battery.

According to court documents and police records, about 4:15 p.m. on Nov. 8, the six men went to the 400 block of Pinegrove Lane to confront James "JJ" Oldham Jr.

Four of the six gave chase to Oldham and began punching and kicking him. One other stood as a lookout, restraining witnesses as they tried to intervene. The group forced Oldham into the back seat of a car and then drove off, according to court documents.

Oldham told police he was taken to another location where he was held hostage for about three hours and battered by all six defendants. He alleges the men pistol-whipped him when he refused to tell them where his money was, according to court documents.

One of the men then took Oldham to another location and held him hostage for another half-hour, according to court documents.

Eventually, he was taken to Kettler Park near Buell Drive and Paulding Road, where he was picked up by his father. Oldham told police he lost consciousness during the initial battery at Pinegrove Lane.

According to the motion for consolidation, each of the defendants is charged as part of common scheme or plan, and they were charged within 20 days of one another.

Recently, Phillips was treated at an area hospital for gunshot wounds he suffered after a disturbance at a local bar ended in a shootout between gangs at the area of East Tillman Road and Lafayette Street.

A hearing on the motion to consolidate is scheduled for today in Allen Superior Court.