Man accused of shooting on Cumberland Ave strip has preliminary hearing

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Mariel McAllister said Adairus Boatwright was part of her life for more than 20 years. They got engaged about two years ago, shortly before he was released from prison.

"Adairus changed his whole life around. I'm from the streets, I changed my whole life around for the better. We were just more family-oriented," said McAllister.

About a week and a half ago, Boatwright went downtown to Sudio X on the Cumberland strip.

"It never crossed my mind to think that my man was never coming back home," said McAllister.

Knoxville police said Marquail Patterson shot and killed Boatwright outside the club. They also said he shot four others in the process. An investigator testified that a nearby business captured the shooting on its security cameras. He said the video shows Patterson walking towards Boatwright, who had his hands behind his back, and they spoke to each other. .

"Mr. Patterson pulls out a handgun and starts shooting. Mr. Patterson takes one or two steps back as Mr. Boatwright is falling away from him. And then advances on Mr. Boatwright and continues to shoot," said Investigator A.J. Loeffler, with the Knoxville Police Department.

Patterson's defense attorney asked the investigator if he was aware of Boatwright's violent past, including any gang involvement.

"It has come to your attention that Mr. Boatwright was one of the leaders of the Cripps in Knoxville, Tennessee. Isn't that correct?" asked Scott Lanzon, Patterson's attorney.

Loeffler said he didn't know and also said he didn't know if Boatwright had a gun on him that night, too, which someone could have taken from him after he was shot.

Boatwright's family members said there's no way he was a current member of the Crips, especially because he was recently photographed in red. They said he turned his life around, only to have it taken away.

"All we want is justice for the family - and justice for the rest of the victims also," said Marcus Boatwright, Boatwright's brother.

The judge found probable cause in the case. It's now headed to a grand jury.

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