Two slayings rocked Atlanta’s hip-hop scene a decade within the past. Most attention-grabbing one has been solved.

Two slayings rocked Atlanta’s hip-hop scene a decade within the past. Most attention-grabbing one has been solved.

Two killings linked to Atlanta’s club scene shook the metropolis’s hip-hop neighborhood a decade within the past. One modified into once solved. But the fatal taking pictures of 1 of Atlanta’s most influential DJs modified into once not, and his loss of life continues to dangle-out associates and anger relatives.

William Fernando Barnes — who went by DJ Nando — modified into once known for helping launch the careers of native rap stars. But the closing time Yolanda Beasley saw her younger brother, he modified into once in tears within the yard of the rural Virginia home the establish they grew up.

Barnes believed somebody modified into once after him, Beasley recalled him asserting on the Christmas Eve 2013 gathering at their mom’s home, and he wished to “fetch a long way from them.” 

When she pressed Barnes on what he supposed, he responded, “They don’t mean me no appropriate,” she recalled.

For more on the slaying of the wife of an Atlanta DJ, tune in to “Sound and Fury” on “Dateline” at 9 ET/8 CT tonight.

Three weeks after that ominous trade, early on Jan. 14, Barnes, 38, modified into once gunned down in his driveway in a delicate Atlanta suburb. Roughly 10 months later, on the morning of Nov. 23, the wife of one more DJ who worked on the identical venue as Barnes — Membership Onyx — modified into once fatally shot in one map the detective who investigated the case described as an “execution.”The killings apprehensive the metropolis’s club scene — and Barnes’ loss of life marked the discontinue of an abilities for Atlanta hip-hop, as one music author attach it. But the fatal taking pictures of Tiffany Jackson Pugh modified into once solved: Weeks after her loss of life, her husband, Andre Pugh — is named DJ Awesome — modified into once charged with kill after authorities acknowledged he asked a shut friend to attain the killing. 

The pair denied the allegations but had been convicted and sentenced to lifestyles in penal advanced with out the possibility of parole.

Yet no suspects had been publicly identified in Barnes’ killing.

“Every person remembers January 14th,” Nick Take care of, a DJ who worked with Barnes, told “Dateline.” “And we quiet don’t believe any concrete answers. It’s crazy.”

“I desire my brother’s killer to be caught,” Beasley told Business City News. “My mom desires closure. Our household desires peace. We need justice.”

Capt. John Ivey of the Clayton County Police Division’s Predominant Crimes Division did not answer to a detailed checklist of questions about Barnes’ killing, but he told “Dateline” that he modified into once assigning a detective to examine the case. Detectives who investigated the killing in 2014 did not answer to requests for comment, nor did a department spokesperson.

‘King among kings’ 

Beasley, 63, recalled her brother as an everyday nation minute one who grew up in a puny metropolis north of Richmond, Virginia, and spent his time fishing, playing ball and utilizing bikes with associates. He modified into once also a talented tinkerer: He once constructed a lag-kart out of a venerable lawn mower.

Barnes didn’t fetch into music unless he’d moved to Atlanta in his early 20s and commenced working at an auto detailing store. There, he saw people promoting mix CDs from the trunks of their cars or backpacks, Beasley acknowledged, and grew to radically change intrigued with the club scene.

Indirectly, she acknowledged, he began shopping secondhand gear, instructing himself to DJ and promoting his possess CDs from a rented house within the Atlanta suburbs.

“He realized the whole lot — each skill — by listening and searching at others,” acknowledged Beasley, who also lived in Atlanta on the time.

William Fernando Barnes, continuously is named DJ Nando.
William Fernando Barnes, continuously is named DJ Nando.via Dateline

Barnes’ talent landed him a gig DJing at one of Atlanta’s strip golf equipment. These had been the venues the establish aspiring rappers attempting to fetch their music heard had prolonged sought the admire of the DJ — the gatekeeper who may possibly possibly possibly possibly execute or shatter a profession. By 2008, acknowledged Take care of, who managed a crew that Barnes belonged to, Barnes had radically change a “king among kings” — a DJ known for his gift of gab, his booming, personalized sound machine and his ability to design huge crowds flush with money. 

“He made all people with out a doubt feel like stars,” rapper Jeezy told “Dateline.” “He made these guys that’s coming out of these hoods and these ghettos and coming out of these dire cases — he made them believe in themselves.”

Barnes modified into once also known for his integrity. Although artists paid DJs to play their music, Take care of recalled, Barnes demanded excellence.

“Every person knew that even whereas you happen to had $20, $50, $100, irrespective of the case is likely to be, Nando would eye at your music, pop it in his headphones, and if it wasn’t poppin’, he hand you your a reimbursement,” Take care of acknowledged.

While attempting to establish himself within the early 2000s, Jeezy acknowledged he map his sights on getting Barnes to play his music. In the starting up, Jeezy recalled, Barnes’ opinions of his field matter had been brutally loyal: “He former to name me, like, ‘This is whack, this is dreadful, resolve it out.’” 

Indirectly, Jeezy acknowledged, he did, in a collaboration with DJ Drama — “Entice or Die,” released nearly twenty years within the past — that Barnes played in its entirety at one more strip club, Magic City. The mixtape transformed Jeezy’s lifestyles, catapulting him from the streets to a profession that took him a long way past Atlanta.

“He actually, single-handedly saved my lifestyles,” Jeezy acknowledged. “He attach me in a local to attain something that I cherished to attain, and to execute a living out of it.”

A loss of life captured on video 

Beasley’s phone rang sooner than shatter of day on Jan. 14. 2014. It modified into once her brother’s girlfriend, who modified into once with a detective who delivered gut-wrenching files: Barnes had been fatally shot in front of his home in Morrow, roughly 15 miles south of Atlanta.  

Beasley, who had moved support to Virginia four years sooner than, right this moment drove to Georgia. In these first days, she acknowledged, her time modified into once spent coping with the grim logistics of loss of life — identifying her brother’s physique, helping execute funeral arrangements, sorting out his affairs.

It wasn’t unless about a weeks later, she acknowledged, that she equipped police with famous sides of the Christmas Eve conversation. When she’d pressed Barnes for names of the people that he acknowledged he wished to fetch a long way from, he’d equipped them, and she acknowledged she shared them with investigators.

Ivey, of the Clayton County Police Division, did not answer to requests for comment.    

Later, Beasley acknowledged, investigators asked her to examine video of the taking pictures. The clips had been pulled from her brother’s security machine, she acknowledged, and investigators wished to perceive if she known the gunman.

Beasley agreed to gaze the video as prolonged as it modified into once shut off sooner than the shooter pulled the map off, she acknowledged. The cameras captured a individual casually strolling down the center of the street in opposition to Barnes’ home on the discontinue of a cul-de-sac, she acknowledged.

“He does not hesitate having a eye round, like, I need to accept the establish I will lag,” she recalled. “This guy is strolling straight to Fernando’s house.”

Beasley acknowledged she didn’t witness the gunman, who had a hood pulled over his head. When he got to Barnes’ home, she acknowledged, he walked down the driveway and positioned himself within the support of bushes. 

It modified into once raining, she acknowledged, and the gunman remained hidden for about a hours.

Barnes arrived home round 3 or 4 a.m., she acknowledged, parked and took some gear interior. Authorities told her what came about next, she acknowledged: When her brother came support outdoors, the person emerged from the bushes and ran up within the support of him.

Beasley didn’t recall if the video had audio and the person shall be heard asserting something else sooner than he attach a gun to Barnes’ head and pulled the map off. 

In a while, Beasley recalled the investigators asserting, the gunman walked away.

Shedding ‘a appropriate one’ 

The impact of Barnes’ loss of life rippled across Atlanta, but it hit the club scene especially arduous, Take care of acknowledged. Barnes wasn’t tied up in street industry, he acknowledged, so people assumed his loss of life modified into once in a roundabout map linked to his work. Perhaps he hadn’t played somebody’s music and they’d held a grudge, Take care of acknowledged. And even Barnes had made a funny story about somebody who wasn’t in a joking mood, he acknowledged.

“We know so many folk in this metropolis which shall be tied up in one thing or one more — interested with unhealthy people, interested on unhealthy corporations,” he acknowledged. “Nando wasn’t one of ‘em. So for the metropolis as a entire, it’s like, ‘Oh, y’all took a appropriate one a long way from us.’”

Tiffany Pugh.
Tiffany Jackson Pugh.via Dateline

Then, on Nov. 23, Tiffany Jackson Pugh modified into once fatally shot in East Level, accurate south of Atlanta. She modified into once in mattress and had been shot once within the chest and once within the pinnacle at shut range, in step with Allyn Glover, the now-retired East Level police detective who investigated the killing. Her husband, Andre Pugh, worked with Barnes at Membership Onyx and performed as DJ Awesome. Pugh dialed 911 at 6 a.m. and reported that he stumbled on his wife’s physique after a house security firm notified him of a that it is doubtless you’ll possibly possibly believe shatter-in.  

First responders stumbled on the couple’s 2-year-former son in mattress alongside with her, although he modified into once unharmed, Glover acknowledged.

At some level of an interview with Glover, Pugh told the investigator that he may possibly possibly possibly had been the intended purpose, and his wife came about to be within the abominable space on the abominable time, video of the interview reveals.

“We didn’t know if we had a serial murderer on our fingers or an aspiring rapper that is attempting to execute a name for themselves and they’re infected on myth of Nando and Pugh didn’t play their music,” Glover acknowledged. “That modified into once one of many avenues we needed to discuss about with.”

But authorities stumbled on evidence that despatched them on a decided course in Jackson Pugh’s killing. Mobile phone knowledge confirmed that a shut friend of Pugh’s modified into once shut to the couple’s home around the time of the kill, as modified into once Pugh. 

‘We desperately need justice’ 

Text messages between Pugh and his wife confirmed a apprehensive relationship, Fulton County Deputy District Attorney Pat Dutcher told “Dateline.” He’d had relationships with other ladies and she had threatened to lag away, Dutcher acknowledged, yet he modified into once struggling financially and continuously relied on her to pay his bills.

Pugh and his friend, Adrian Harley, had been arrested that December and accused of carrying out a kill-for-hire — an occasion that caused a flood of calls to Barnes’ household from people that wondered if the pair may possibly possibly possibly had been linked to his killing. (Neither Pugh nor Harley had been accused of against the law in connection with Barnes’ loss of life.)

“My mom and I are asking if an arrest is made that She or I be the main to perceive,” Beasley wrote in an email after the December arrests to a detective investigating her brother’s case. “We have got got been via so worthy there modified into once no peace and we desperately need justice and closure.”

In a written response to Beasley, the detective indicated that Pugh wished to discuss and the department modified into once sending somebody to interview him. In the electronic mail, which Beasley equipped to Business City News, he also acknowledged the FBI modified into once assisting.

“I will withhold you knowledgeable on any updates,” the detective wrote. “I will execute definite we contact you and your mom first on an arrest.”

Seven days later, Beasley asked for an exchange, in step with an email she equipped to Business City News. She acknowledged she never heard support — and hasn’t heard something else from the department within the final decade since.

It isn’t decided if the police interview with Pugh ever came about. The detective with whom Beasley corresponded did not answer to a seek files from for comment. Pugh’s trial and appellate lawyers wouldn’t comment. A lawyer for Harley told “Dateline” that he saw no evidence of his consumer’s involvement in Barnes’ killing.

A spokesperson for the FBI’s Atlanta self-discipline space of job acknowledged it didn’t appear that the agency modified into once ever interested on the investigation. 

Glover acknowledged he hopes investigators in Clayton County will rob one more eye at Barnes’ case. He wondered if they’d reviewed cellphone knowledge within the house on the time of the killing, and he recalled that whereas both Barnes and Pugh had been DJs at Membership Onyx, Barnes occupied a busier, more lucrative evening, Friday. And within the hours after Barnes’ killing, Pugh asked for the DJ’s time slot, Glover recalled studying from the club’s administration. 

Sabrena Swinger, who supervised Onyx’s dancers, told “Dateline” that she recalled listening to Pugh execute the seek files from. In a while, Swinger acknowledged, Pugh DJ’d one Friday evening, but the club employed somebody else to interchange Barnes going forward. 

Andre’s lawyers wouldn’t touch upon the seek files from and Ivey did not answer to requests for comment.

Tim Stelloh

Tim Stelloh is a breaking files reporter for Business City News Digital.

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