2006-06-02 / Front Page

Fugitive 'Murderer' Arrested In Georgia

By Brian Magoolaghan

Michael Pledger is charged with murder. 
Michael Pledger is charged with murder. An alleged murderer who authorities say fled to the south after he shot two people at the Ocean Bay Houses last August was arrested last week in Georgia, The Wave has learned.

Michael Pledger, 19, was arrested by the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department on May 25, about nine months after he allegedly rode a bicycle through the courtyard at Ocean Bay and opened fire on Kadeem Smalls, 16, and Lamar Clarke, 23.

Smalls was struck in the head with a single bullet and died at the scene. Clarke was treated at Jamaica Hospital for a bullet wound to his left leg.

Pledger, who was shot in the chest near Ocean Bay just five days before he sprayed bullets at Smalls and Clarke, was seeking vengeance, police sources said at the time. Smalls, aka Kadeem Bailey aka "Black" was the NYPD's lead suspect in Pledger's shooting, and Clarke was also thought to have played a role.

It was unclear where Pledger was living while he was on the lam.

Pledger, whose local address is 51-15 Almeda Avenue, will face second degree murder and attempted murder charges, in addition to weapons, assault and reckless endangerment charges when he is eventually arraigned in Queens Criminal Court, according to a spokesperson for District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

In Georgia, Pledger was charged with falsifying identification documents and giving police a false name or false information, according to the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department. The department's website, which listed the charges, indicated that he was a "fugitive from justice" and would be handed over to the NYPD.

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