Two teens sentenced for lying about 2011 fatal shooting

Two Augusta teens charged with lying to police about a fatal 2011 shooting pleaded guilty Thursday.


Brandon Devon Berry, 19, and Morreio Demetrius Carswell, 19, were charged with making false statements in connection with the March 19, 2011, shooting that killed James Sterling Gillette Jr., 19, at the Belair Conference Center.

At a sentencing hearing Thursday the teens pleaded guilty to obstruction of a law enforcement officer. Superior Court Judge Michael Annis sentenced the teens each to a year on probation, with credit for time they’d already served in jail. Berry served about seven months and Carswell served more than two months.

On Wednesday, Johndrick Lors Levert Barnes, 21, of Augusta, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Superior Court Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet sentenced Barnes to five years in prison, with credit for the nearly two years he has already served, followed by two years probation and a $1,000 fine.

Gillette was an employee of the conference center working a 16th birthday party for one of James Brown’s granddaughters. About 200 people showed up. Fights broke out, so guests were ushered outside. Gillette was holding the door when shooting started in the parking lot.

Barnes fired a .380 pistol into the air and a bullet hit Gillette.

Assistant District Attorney Rex Myers said he doesn’t believe the shooting was intentional.

Three others also were charged with making false statements to authorities. Deandre Tyrell Jones pleaded guilty in October 2011 and a 16-year-old pled guilty in Juvenile Court in July 2011.

The case against Jordan Dashawn Harrison, who is also charged with making false statements, is still pending.

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