Nearly a decade later: Club Blu shooting suspects await trial 

Reporter: Emma Heaton
Published: Updated:

It’s been nearly eight years since a shooting at Club Blu took two innocent lives from our community. 

In 2016, 14-year-old Sean Archilles and 18-year-old Stefan Strawder had their night all planned out. Fort Myers, Club Blu – teen night. That night turned out to be the last of their young lives. 

They were both gunned down, caught in the middle of two warring gang factions. Monday, those police believe are responsible were back in the courtroom.

In a pre-trial hearing, the state and defense told the judge there had been a series of challenges and delays in the legal proceedings, including issues with witness availability, wasted time during depositions and communication problems with the sheriff’s office. 

Despite these challenges. The judge said both sides agreed to put a clear timeline in place. The trial is scheduled for late July to August 2024, eight years after the shooting. 

The defense mentioned, however, that October, is looking more realistic. 

A judge asked the state and defense to go back and look at the deadlines they submitted saying they’re only as good as strictly adhered to. 

Don Loggins was the only suspect to show up in court Monday. He’s also the only one still behind bars.

Tajze Battle, Derrick Church and Demetrius O’Neal are all out on bond and did not show up.

Kierra Russ was the first of the five suspects to go to trial. In May of 2022, a jury found Russ guilty of second-degree murder charges and one count of conspiracy to commit for working as a lookout and texting others about rival gang members at a party in the club.

Russ was sentenced to life in prison. 

The judge set another status conference for Monday, April 29th, at 1 p.m.

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