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Man facing prosecution for Christmas Eve murder

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

With his father standing behind him and their game of "Madden NFL 08" on pause, Elijah Ladale Richburg was shot once in the left arm and once in the chest.

A third bullet grazed the front door, of the 23-year-old's 5758 Ga. Highway 85 apartment, hit the ceiling fan in the living room and lodged in the wall of the kitchen, according to police reports.

One of the bullets pierced Richburg's aorta, and he bled to death inside his apartment, around 2:30 p.m., according to Clayton County Police Detective Michael Medious.

Police found a large amount of cash in a kitchen drawer and a measuring scale with a razor blade on it. When taken to the hospital, on Dec. 24, Richburg was pronounced dead and doctors said they found suspected crack cocaine in his pocket. Police concluded the Christmas Eve shooting was drug-related.

After a probable cause hearing Tuesday morning, 23-year-old Brandon Veontez Lett, of Atlanta, will face possible indictment by a grand jury on charges he murdered Richburg.

According to the detective, Lett, also known as "Bam Bam," went over to Richburg's house with his mother, 46-year-old Vanessa Louise Watson. Watson reportedly said she and her son walked over to Pembroke Townhomes to see Richburg, also known as "E," about a dog.

Richburg's father, 47-year-old Kenneth D. Richburg, reportedly said he and his son were in the apartment, at about 2:30 p.m., that Monday, and heard someone knocking at the door. The elder Richburg said he didn't see what happened at the door, but heard a scuffle, heard his son shouting "get the [expletive] away from here," and then saw his son go and get a .38-caliber gun.

Watson did not explain how the scuffle started, but told the investigators that the two 23-year-olds began shoving each other and then both of them had guns.

Kenneth Richburg took the .38 away from Elijah Richburg and Lett fired, Medious wrote in his warrant application.

Though police suspect the argument may have been about drugs, Lett and Watson maintain the fight was about a dog. Medious' arrest warrant application doesn't cite a motive for the murder, but states there was no justification for Richburg's death.

Lett was arrested on a single charge of murder. The case against him was bound over to Superior Court, where he will face prosecution.