October 5th, 2010
01:24 PM ET

Young boy to testify at Memphis murder trial

Jessie Dotson could get the death penalty if he's convicted of killing six people in Memphis.

It's being called the biggest mass murder in Memphis history, a crime that has become known nationally as  "722 Lester Street." That's the address of the home where in March 2008 six family members were  stabbed, beaten and shot. Their bodies were arranged after the crime to make the scene look like a gang hit or a drug deal gone bad, prosecutors say.

Jessie Dotson, a 35-year-old ex-con, who is related the victims, is charged with the slayings. He's facing the death penalty. CNN affiliate WREG is live streaming the trial, now into its second week.

Memphis Police Sgt. Tony Mullins testified that the scene at the house was "horrific," more brutal than he'd witnessed in his long career. Two children, a 4 and 2-year-old, were found beaten with sticks and stabbed. Four adults were shot to death.

Three additional children - including a 4 month old - were attacked but survived.

One of the surviving children, a 9-year-old boy, was found with a  knife sticking out of his head.

Police initially investigated the crime as a possible hit by a gang notorious in the area, the Gangster Disciples.

But the boy told investigators that "Uncle Junior" was the killer.

"Uncle Junior" was the boy's nickname for Dotson. Police confronted Dotson with the child's description, and he confessed, prosecutors say.

The boy is expected to testify, possibly this week, according to a spokeswoman for the prosecutor.

The case has attracted curious gawkers from across the country to Lester Street, some who have stood in the street to take photographs, according to a couple CNN interviewed who have moved into the home.

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Filed under: Crime • Tennessee
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. baybay

    He killed six people and tried to take the lives of three others. As a mother of three children (ages seven, four, and two), I am pretty sure that the parents would have wanted "Uncle Junior" to have no mercy given to him no matter what his color. I am white, if my brother murdered my children and me I would want the public to speak out on behalf of the lives of my children, and I would hope they would be saying to fry him.

    October 6, 2010 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  2. Rumour

    @Rita, I'd definitely like to read that. Would you mind posting a link? Every research study I have ever read or been a part of proves that it is age that is indicative of poor impulse control. This is due to the brain not being totally grown until close to age 25. The analogy we like to use is "a kick butt car with really bad breaks".

    October 6, 2010 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jessica

    Lets not also forget on the First 48 he not only killed those 6 relatives but what harassing his sister & her family. She didnt know it was him no one did & had she not moved & sought police protection he would have murdered her also. He is a sick individul however I do not support the death penalty. He will suffer a treacherous death & it hall be handed down from God himself

    October 6, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. angiebaby

    u heartless Bi*ch!!

    October 6, 2010 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  5. yaeger

    I live in memphis. he's a thug. memphis is full of thugs. color has nothing to do with it

    October 6, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  6. eye for an eye

    I dont understand what race has to do with this case. The slow idiot who keeps throwing it out there is doing it for attn to get a reaction. But too cool for that ignoramus. With comments like that your probably in a trailer somewhere bootlegging cable. The fact is this psycho killed his family in a very brutal manner, babies his blood and taunted the remaing family members. If Uncle Jr would do it to his own imagine what he would do to anyone else. Needs to be eliminated from society. Uncle Jr needs to DIE. Uncle Jr needs the say method of execution. May God have mercy on him bc I dont.

    October 6, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. Ken

    Really, who cares what color his is? ANYONE that commits ANY crime against ANY child should be taken out behind the courthouse, and let the family members of the victims, administer their "justice". Why put them in jail and have taxpayers foot the bill? Instant accountabilty is the only way to deter this type of so called "sicko". He knew what he was doing. There is nothing mentally wrong with him. EVERYONE knows right from wrong. Society didn't drive him to do this, poor living conditions, single parents, and lack of a job, does not have anything to do with it. Just pure evil...

    October 6, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BooBear

    Poor child...

    October 6, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. lorjac

    I don't care what color he is... look at those dead evil eyes... that says it all. Man or woman, black or white or purple or Martian, I don't care ... you are evil enough to kill CHILDREN you are just evil ~ there is no race!

    October 6, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. free2comment


    October 6, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mary

    OOOHH...I am so sick of everyone always wanting to throw race into madness! Truth be told, we all are the SAME race, the human race!! Please America stop this stupid ignorant thinking! Innocent people are dying & all we care about is the color of the skin a person is! I'm a "black" woman if someone killed my family I could careless what color they are I'd want justice! Ugh!!I'm sickened by all these post about race! The DEVIL has comes in all colors! Stephen Hayes a devil, "uncle junior" a devil! What about the victims they are what matters! Best believe God has a place for them, for all eternity! God bless all those who actually think race matters in this case or any other case that maybe similar to this, because you need it

    October 6, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • eye for an eye

      Your right sistah its sickening how these folks have made these travesty about race. Your right God bless those for they not not what they do or say. An infant being beaten and stabbed, a 9yr old with a knife in his head is not horrific enough. We got to make something so awful, tragic, and horrific be about race. Lord help them for they know not what they do or say. I'm a sister of a murder victim who tragically died like those children by a monster. And it so sad to see 15yrs later we have not progressed. That too made nat'l news and made it be a race issue. It was across CNN, Jet, etc. the headlines read did race play a factor in the solving of a murder of two children one black girl and one white boy. These children attneded the same school were brutally maimed and murdered stabbed numerous times. One killer was white and the other was black. Each of the murderers killed within their own race they were equally sick and sadistic.

      October 6, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. OMG

    I get sooo tired of hearing the race card issue. Drop it already!! Get over it and get on with your life!! This guy brutally killed his family, not to mention young innocent babies. Who cares what color he is? I'll say a prayer for this young boy who has to testify and re-live the brutall ordeal so that hopefully this monster can justifiably get what's coming to him. May this family rest in peace!

    October 6, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Don

    Could we get a little more righteous anger about the slain adults? I know that killing kids is about as heinous as it gets, but those people had lives too...

    October 8, 2010 at 4:14 am | Report abuse |
  14. AJ

    They should kill that motha******!!!!!!!!!

    October 13, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. child of GOD

    true this man was wrong in every respect, but the fact that he didnt want to admit to what he did post his many many confessions... just makes him a bigger monster. Im curious to know what shutdown in his mental stae when he decided to butcher children and beat then with a stick. They suffered far more than the adutls, because they were shot while the kids were tortured. please pray for the family, it not easy testifyiung against your own blood for the killing of one of your own.. excuse me several of your own. they lost a whole half of their family in an instant. each day must be hard, when one day you remember one relative then the next. This is a painfal situation and i feel for the family but respect them as well ,,, because they stood up and did the right thing. And for once our justice system actually worked!

    August 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
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