Court Document: Murder suspect admitted to killing; informant makes connection to Ahmonta Harris

Posted on 23 February 2019 at 1:15pm
Story image: Court Document: Murder suspect admitted to killing; informant makes connection to Ahmonta Harris

COLUMBIA — A Columbia Police Department detective detailed a murder suspect’s admission, and the case’s connection to community activist Ahmonta Harris, in a probable cause statement sworn on Friday.

A judge issued a warrant for 24-year-old Laron Nesbitt, who was already in jail on other charges. Prosecutors now accuse him of killing Deonte Gainwell on January 17.  

Gainwell shot and killed Harris last November, but the Boone County prosecutor told KOMU 8 last month the shooting was justified. At the time, deputies said Harris broke into a house for a robbery and threatened Gainwell, who was also armed.

Friday’s court document said Nesbitt confided in a subject identified as "KS" that he killed "FatMac". The conversation happened while at the Boone County Jail, the probable cause read. The probable cause states Nesbitt said he had killed "FatMac" because he was speaking bad about a close friend, so he "had to put him down". "KS" identified "FatMac" as the person who killed Ahmonta Harris, according to the document.

Harris was well-known as the coordinator of the popular, but illegal, "fireworks war" held every Fourth of July in the Brodie Drive area.

Investigators said last month they were actively looking for connections between Harris' death and the murder of Gainwell.

Nesbitt, the suspect in that case, is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action and was being held on $1 million cash-only bond.