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'Miracle of modern medicine,' police call restaurant shooting survivor

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

A 49-year-old woman wounded in the armed robbery of a Krystal Restaurant, is scheduled to have spinal cord surgery and a tracheotomy.

Clayton County Police said the Conley woman, Cheryl Alphabet, is in stable condition and has survived a July 3 gunshot to the head. At the time police found her in the 3562 Ga. Highway 138 drive-through restaurant she managed, Alphabet was severely wounded and unresponsive. She was slumped on the freezer floor, struggling to breath, and her eyes were injured by the gunshot.

Police say her survival is a "miracle of modern medicine."

She was shot in the head with a .40-caliber handgun during an armed robbery, according to police reports. Police have arrested Marquet Sherman Donald, 22, in connection with the crime.

He was "wearing all black, with a black ski mask, wrap-around sunglasses and an orange bandanna ... and produced a black pistol from his person," according to arrest warrant applications filed by Detective Michael Christian,

Donald, a former employee of the Krystal, was positively identified by a former co-worker, who recognized him by his "oddly-shaped, pointy head," and because he allegedly asked her about her new cell phone.

Also, Donald was positively identified by three men who came to pick up their brother from the restaurant. The three told police their brother sent text messages saying he was being robbed. When they got to the scene, they said, they saw Donald sitting in Alphabet's car, and asked him where was their brother. He said their brother was OK, and then he sped away when he saw police coming.

The robber got away with about $2,208 from the safe -- higher than original estimates of $1,000 -- but police said the money was found in a plastic bag in the woods where Donald fought with a police officer in an attempt to escape.

Donald is being held in the Clayton County Jail. His probable cause hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at 8 a.m.