Atmore duo charged in fatal shooting of Pace man
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Two Atmore men remained in the Santa Rosa County, Fla., jail this week, each charged with a different degree of murder in the June 19 shooting death of a Pace, Fla., man in what authorities believe was a robbery attempt.
Both Jacobey Quartise James, 20, and Marcus Terel Dickinson, 29, were extradited to Santa Rosa County June 23 after having spent a short time in the Escambia County Detention Center.
James, who turned himself in to ECSO (Ala.) authorities on June 21, is charged with first-degree murder. A conviction on that charge will result in one of two penalties — death or life in prison without parole.
Dickinson, who was arrested at his Atmore residence on June 20, is charged with second-degree murder. That crime is a first-degree felony, punishable upon conviction by a prison sentence of up to life, or life on probation.
Santa Rosa County Sheriff Robert “Bob” Johnson discounted rumors of the involvement of gangs and drugs during a press conference televised across the Florida Panhandle and lower Alabama.
“We have no definite motive at this time,” the sheriff said. “We believe it was a robbery. There is no information to suggest the victim (24-year-old Joseph Liebe) knew the suspects in any form or fashion; no reason to believe (the shooting) had anything to do with gangs; no evidence of any kind of drug deal or drug involvement at all.
“We believe it to be a robbery. We believe that earlier in the day they (James and Dickinson) had contact with this individual and learned somehow that he had some money and attempted to rob him. We believe (Liebe) was shot in his vehicle, then (drove away). He ended up crashing because he was shot.”
Sheriff’s reports show that officers thought they were responding to a vehicle accident when they first converged on the site, near Wallace Lake Road, around 6:30 p.m. June 19. Instead, they discovered a homicide scene that sent county investigators scrambling.
“We responded to what we thought was a car crash,” Johnson said. “The person in the car had a gunshot wound. Detectives were called out, and they took off running. We got a basic description of a Tahoe that had some unique things about the paint job.”
County lawmen identified the vehicle and its owner that same day. The next day, June 20, they went to Atmore, where they received assistance from Escambia County (Ala) Sheriff’s Office and Atmore Police Department personnel and obtained a search warrant for the suspect’s vehicle and residence.
The search warrant was executed, and Dickinson was arrested at the site. A second warrant was obtained for James, who surrendered to ECSO officers the next day.