NASHVILLE, Tenn., July 17, 2015 – Cornell Oliver, 23, and Blake Wright, 25, both of Clarksville, Tennessee, pleaded guilty today for their role in the murder of Raymond Caston, during a home-invasion robbery on October 27, 2010, announced David Rivera, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee and Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. Jerry Dinkins, 26, also from Clarksville, previously pleaded guilty on June 26, 2015, for his involvement in the crime. All were charged in a second superseding indictment on April 25, 2014.
According to the plea agreements, on October 27, 2010, Oliver, Dinkins and Wright participated in a home-invasion robbery at a crack house on Elder Street in Clarksville. The defendants targeted Raymond Caston, aka Black, because he was known to cook and sell substantial amounts of crack cocaine at the house and to have large amounts of money.
When they arrived at the house, one of the three defendants kicked open the door and all
three entered and went directly to Caston and demanded his money and drugs. One of the robbers proceeded to hit Caston with a gun. Caston was then forced outside where the defendants continued to threaten him. People inside the house soon heard multiple gunshots, but were not outside and did not see which of the three robbers actually fired shots. The defendants then fled, and Caston, who had been shot three times, was pronounced dead at the scene.
DNA and other physical and forensic evidence collected at the scene and eyewitness accounts also connected the defendants to the murder of Caston.
Dinkins will be sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Kevin Sharp on October 23, 2015 and Wright and Oliver will be sentenced on November 10, 2015.
According to the terms of the plea agreement, Dinkins and Oliver have agreed to a prison term of 25 years and Wright has agreed to be sentenced to between 22 ½ -25 years in prison.
The case was investigated by Clarksville, Tennessee Police Department and the DEA. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lynne T. Ingram of the Middle District of Tennessee and Laura Gwinn of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section.