Rapper was dad to slain child, 4

Rap star Juvenile, whose real name is Terius Gray, is the father of victim Jelani Deleston, 4

By Andria Simmons

A memorial of flowers and stuffed animals rested against the mailbox of the Lawrenceville home where a Gwinnett deputy and her two young children were slain.

The two-story house on Madison Chase Drive sat empty Saturday since the sole surviving resident, 17-year-old Anthony Tyrone Terrell, was locked in the DeKalb County jail. Police say Terrell on Thursday gunned down his mother, 39-year-old Joy Deleston, and his sisters, Micaiah, 11, and Jelani, 4.

They still don’t know why he did it.

A probable-cause hearing for Terrell is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Thursday in Gwinnett County Magistrate Court.

Jelani was the daughter of rapper Juvenile, whose real name is Terius Gray.

Juvenile could not be reached for comment Saturday.

Randy Kessler, the Atlanta divorce lawyer who represented the 32-year-old rapper in a paternity suit Deleston brought against him in 2004, said, “I don’t think he’s speaking to anybody at this point.”

“My understanding is it’s a private matter and he would like to keep it that way,” Kessler said.

Juvenile and Deleston made an agreement in 2004 that he would pay $900 a month in child support and $400 a month toward a college fund for Jelani, court records show. Kessler said he didn’t know how close their father-daughter bond was because he never saw them together while working on the case.

The pile of gifts left outside Deleston’s home in remembrance of her and the two girls has been growing steadily since Friday, neighbors said. Flowers and stuffed animals were also propped against the flagpole outside the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department, where Deleston worked for seven years.

Maggie Jasso, a neighbor across the street, said her 6-year-old daughter often played games with Jelani in the Delestons’ driveway. She said her family was taking the news hard.

“What is in [Terrell’s] mind?” Jasso asked. “How he can kill the mother who gave him life? We feel very sad.”