Atlanta homicide Detective Scott Berhalter had been working the double-murder case for weeks.
Reginald “Reggie” Coicou, 24, and Quincy “Fat” Wytche, 22, were shot to death outside a northwest Atlanta Burger King in April 2016. They had been sitting in a car with two other men, apparently to transact a drug deal, when the man in the back passenger seat suddenly opened fire with a .40-caliber handgun.
Coicou was shot six times at very close range and died where he sat; Wytche was hit a total of three times and died on the way to the hospital.
In this sixth season of our Breakdown podcast, AJC Editor-in-Chief Kevin Riley details Berhalter’s pursuit of the man he believes to be the killer. The latest episode went live early Monday. In it, Riley also reveals how the top editor at a major metropolitan newspaper came to be so closely involved in a murder case.
Berhalter knew the identities of the two dead men. He also knew the name of the car’s driver, who bolted from the vehicle when the shooting started and began running up I-285. Carlton Redding was captured on the Perimeter Highway after a police car ran into him, and Berhalter was able to interview him shortly after Redding was taken into custody. But the detective didn’t have an ID on the fourth man, the shooter. After the shootings, that fourth man had jumped into another car at the Burger King and driven away. (Read the indictment below.)
But cellphone records and video surveillance gave Berhalter the first clues to the suspect’s identity.
Episode 2 includes audio of the detective’s first contact with the suspect – and his mother. The Q&A session took place in the mom’s living room.
AJC legal affairs writer Bill Rankin joins Riley on “Breakdown: A Jury of His Peers.” You can download it today on iTunes, Stitcher or your favorite podcasting player. Or you can stream it right here, right now.