By Aisha I. Jefferson
Flint Judicial Circuit District Attorney Tommy Floyd said three men arrested Wednesday in connection with a store burglary in Stockbridge, will not face felony murder charges relating to the death of a Henry County Bureau of Police Services officer who was responding to the scene.
"The facts of what happened were not felony murder in this state," Floyd said. "I legally cannot charge it."
Floyd did say the men are charged with some very serious felonies, "that will give us enough time to deal with them appropriately."
Police officer Charles Haist, 32, wrecked on Ga. Highway 20/81 while en route to assist officers on the burglary call early Wednesday morning. He died on the way to Henry Medical Center.
Police responded to an alarm call at Premiere Wireless Solutions on Eagle's Landing Parkway in Stockbridge early Wednesday morning, and, upon arriving at the scene, they discovered a burglary in progress.
The three suspects, Stacey Lamar Seaborn, 18, of Atlanta; Bruce Austin, 18, of Riverdale; and Deangelo Terrod Myers, 19, of College Park, made their first court appearance Friday morning. The men remain in jail and postponed their preliminary hearing until around March 16. A public defender will represent Myers, while Austin and Seaborn hired attorneys.
All of the men face burglary and possession of tools to commit a crime charges in relation to the burglary. Myers and Austin also are charged with two counts of aggravated assault, fleeing and attempting to elude police, criminal damage to property in the second degree and marijuana possession.
Burglary and aggravated assault carries a maximum penalty of 20 years each, Floyd said.
The three men are also suspects in a similar robbery that took place prior to Wednesday's chase.
A number of cell phones and a cash box were recovered in the suspects' vehicle and links them to another burglary that occurred just prior to the Premiere Wireless incident at Associates Cellular at Tanger Outlet Mall in Locust Grove.
Locust Grove Police Chief Jesse Patton said they obtained warrants on the men Wednesday, and that each faces one count of criminal damage, second degree, and three counts of burglary.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. today at Salem Baptist Church, at 1724 Ga. Highway 155 in McDonough. Following the service, there will be a processional to the burial site at Forest Hill Memorial Gardens, 722 Conley Road in Forest Park.
Haist's family has set up a trust fund at the Georgia Federal Credit Union at 105 North Park Trail, Suite 100, in Stockbridge. Checks can be make payable to the Georgia Federal Credit Union, attention "Charles Haist Memorial Fund."