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Charges dropped in shooting case

By Kathy Jefcoats

kjefcoats@henryherald.com

McDONOUGH — A felony case was dropped against a McDonough man after a Henry County magistrate judge found a lack of evidence to charge him with aggravated assault and armed robbery.

A preliminary hearing was held Wednesday morning in the case against Christopher Michael Brown, 22, of Royal Crescent Way. Brown was arrested Dec. 28 and charged in an alleged Sept. 25 shooting and armed robbery during a drug deal gone bad, said police.

After hearing testimony by Henry County police Detective Aaron Combs, Chief Magistrate Robert Godwin said he didn’t find enough evidence to bind over the case to Superior Court. Brown was released from the Henry County Jail.

However, Combs can give his evidence to the district attorney’s office, which has the option to present it to a grand jury for indictment.

Combs said Brown and two other men arranged a deal to buy marijuana from three other men in the Stockbridge Wal-Mart parking lot. However, Combs said the real intent was to rob the dealers.

“I found phone calls and texts from Christopher Brown’s phone alluding to the fact they were looking to set up an armed robbery of drug dealers, known on the streets as a ‘rip,’ ” said Combs. “Christopher Brown says that, yeah, he’s got a guy.”

Under cross-examination by public defender Matt Bridges, Combs acknowledged not having evidence connecting Brown to a specific crime.

“There’s nothing specific that says they were definitely going to rob these guys,” he said.

When the hearing ended, Godwin granted Bridges’ motion to drop the charges.

A Henry County high school student waived her right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday. Brittany Alexander Johnson, 17, of Sunderland Way in Stockbridge, was arrested in December on charges she beat another student in the face with a brick.

Johnson was a student at Dutchtown High School Nov. 29 when a school resource officer said she went to the girls’ bathroom and changed clothes for “a fight,” left the school building and returned with a brick.

The fight took place in the parking lot, said police. Johnson allegedly attacked a juvenile with the brick, beating her in the face and causing injuries that needed stitches. Johnson is charged with aggravated battery, battery and affray and was released on $10,000 bond.

She is now attending classes at Patrick Henry Academy, an alternative high school.

After Johnson waived the hearing, Godwin bound over the case to a grand jury.