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Atlanta man indicted in Christmas Eve slaying

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

A 19-year-old man, who is sometimes known as "Bam Bam," has been indicted by a grand jury on charges that he shot someone to death on Christmas Eve.

Brandon Veontez Lett, of Atlanta, was indicted by a Clayton County grand jury last week on charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and the possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime.

He allegedly shot 23-year-old Elijah Ladale Richburg twice, outside Richburg's 5758 Ga. Highway 85 apartment. The incident took place at about 2:30 p.m., on Dec. 24, according to Clayton County police.

Lett fired multiple times, one of the rounds grazed the front door, kicked a ceiling fan and lodged in an upstairs wall, police said.

Two shots struck Richburg, with "one of the rounds hitting him in the chest area, severing the aorta, causing him to bleed to death," Detective Michael Medious reported in a warrant application.

Initial reports said the shooting may have been related to a drug deal. At the Laurel Park apartment, Officer Tony Griffin saw the bullet hole in the wall of the kitchen and saw "a measuring scale with a razor blade on it" -- suspected drug-dealing paraphernalia -- sitting on top of the counter. Searching the kitchen, Griffin also allegedly found a drawer full of cash.

Richburg was armed, when Lett came to the apartment. It was not clear, though, that he had the gun when he was shot.

There was a .38-caliber gun on the carpet in the same room where Richburg was found dying, but his father, Kenneth Richburg, said he had taken the gun away from his son.

Doctors, going through Richburg's clothes at the hospital, reported to the police that they found crack cocaine in the dead man's pockets.

Lett's mother, Vanessa Louise Watson, apparently didn't know anything about drugs. She told the detective she and her son went over to Richburg's to look at a dog, according to the warrant.

Richburg's father told police he was with his son in the apartment when Lett knocked on the door. He said he didn't see what happened, but heard a scuffle between the two young men and heard the younger Richburg shout, "Get the [expletive] away from here."

The arrest warrant application doesn't cite a motive for the murder, but states there was no justification for the shooting.

Lett will face the possibility of life in prison.