• DeKalb teacher faces murder charges in 2016 gang retaliation killings

    By: Mark Winne

    Updated:

    Story Highlights

    • Tatiyana Coates, 11, and her brother, Daveon Coates, 15, were killed in 2016.
    • Investigators believe gang members invaded the children's home in search of a teen who wasn’t there.
    • Authorities recovered a weapon months ago in Chattanooga, Tennessee linked to the case.

    DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - More than 17 months after two children lost their lives on Libby Lane in gang-related gunfire, Clayton County police have charged a DeKalb County elementary school teacher with their killing.

    Michael De’Sean White, 26, has been charged with four counts of murder, Clayton County police Maj. Tina Daniel confirmed to Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne

    Michael De'Sean White, 26, was arrested Friday in connection with a 2016 double-homicide in Clayton County.
    Clayton County Police Department
    “You’re not prepared to say if White’s the trigger man?” Winne asked Daniel.

    “It is still an open and pending investigation at this time,” Daniel said.  

    “More than one perpetrator, if you will, at the scene?” Winne asked Daniel. 

    “It appears that there is more than one,” Daniel said. 

    Daniel said a sketch of a man seen at the murder scene that was drawn by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s forensic artist, Kelly Lawson, helped Clayton police make a case against White. 


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    “It kicks you in the gut that someone who’s responsible for our children on a daily basis could possibly be involved with a heinous crime like this,” Daniel said. 

    The Clayton County Sheriff's Office Fugitive Task Force arrested White on Friday. White works as a school teacher at Toney Elementary School in DeKalb County. 

    Investigators charged White with the deaths of Tatiyana Coates, 11, and her brother, Daveon Coates, 15. Police told Winne that the brother and sister were innocent victims of gang violence.

    Officers found Tatiyana Coates, 11, and her brother Daveon, 15, shot to death inside the house on Libby Lane in the Marlborough subdivision in Jonesboro.
    © 2018 Cox Media Group.

    “The details, as far as the sketch and the photo, are incredibly similar,” Daniel told Winne. 

    Investigators believe gang members invaded the children's home in search of a teen who wasn’t there. The teen was someone who had been staying at the home as a favor to his mother.

    “Is White a gang member himself?” Winne asked Daniel. 

    “That is something that still is part of the open investigation,” Daniel said. 

    Daniel said authorities recovered a weapon months ago in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where related gang violence broke out within days of the killing of the Tatiyana and Daveon. 

    “At this time, we do believe that the gun in Chattanooga was involved, somehow related in the incident. We are still awaiting the final ballistics information,” Daniel said. 

    White has been removed from Toney Elementary School until an investigation is complete, district officials said. He has taught fifth grade at the school since August, and began with the district as a paraprofessional in March 2017.

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