One of three defendants awaiting trial for the murder of Oconee teenager Joseph Kendall Jackson was arrested last month in connection with a rape of a girl under the age of 16. 

Athens 19-year-old Akhemu Nehisi Dunston, who in 2019 was arrested for his role in the killing of Jackson but was released on bond in 2020, was allegedly present when a Nicholson teenager was raped, according to Jackson County Sheriff Janis Mangum.

Dunston was charged with rape (party to a crime), aggravated assault (party to a crime), felony statutory rape (party to a crime), cruelty to children in the first degree (party to a crime), false imprisonment (party to a crime), as well as possession of a schedule I controlled substance (heroin) and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. 

Jackson County deputies charged a 21-year-old Nicholson man with rape, child molestation and aggravated assault, among other charges. An 18-year-old Nicholson man was also arrested for being a party to the crime. 

Oconee investigators don’t believe Dunston was the individual who shot Jackson in July 2019, but he and his brother, Quentin, were in the car when the murder occurred.  

Murder defendant Ryan Timothy O’Neal is believed to have shot Jackson from inside the vehicle. Murder defendant Dallas McCabe is believed to be the get-away driver. 

Quentin Dunston had charges dropped against him Dec. 24, 2019. 

In 2020, AkhemuDunston was released on a $35,000 bond, according to the orders of Superior Court Judge Lawton E.Stevens. Then-Acting Western Judicial Circuit District Attorney Brian Patterson opposed the bond. 

“Given the public health situation involving the novel coronavirus, it is unlikely that defendant’s case will proceed to trial in the near future,” defense attorney Benjamin A. Pearlman wrote in a motion. 

When he was released from jail, AkhemuDunston was legally required to wear a GPS ankle monitor at all times and was subjected to random drug and alcohol tests.

Before his alleged involvement in a 2019 murder and a 2021 rape, AkhemuDunston had been arrested for simple battery, disorderly conduct and drug offenses. 

For more on this story, see the Feb. 11 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website. 

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