An Augusta teen suspected of starting a feud between high school girls that turned into a fatal street brawl in 2016 pleaded guilty Monday to a reduced charge of aggravated assault.
D’aciea Byrd, 17, was initially charged with murder as were 11 others who took part in the March 18, 2016, melee on Chaps Lane. She pleaded guilty Monday to the reduced charge and was sentenced to six years probation under the First Offender Act.
Byrd’s brother, Demetrius L. Harris, 22, is expected to also plead guilty Tuesday in Richmond County Superior Court. He is accused of wielding the knife that cut the throat of his friend, 18-year-old Demajhay D. Bell.
Video of the afternoon brawl went viral on social media. An estimated 50 to 70 people showed up to fight or just to watch. Glenn Hills High School leadership had tried to head off any confrontation but on senior skip day, the girls used Facebook Live to set up a fight, said District Attorney Natalie Paine.
It appeared that Byrd never left the porch of her home, but the brawl wouldn’t have happened without her, Paine said.
Defense attorney Michael Garrett said Byrd, who was held in a juvenile facility until turning 17 last spring and was moved to the jail, was praised for her excellent behavior, and she served as a mentor to others.
Byrd apologized for “all the hurt” she caused.
Judge Michael N. Annis sentenced Byrd, giving her credit for the time she has been in custody, and he instructed the department of community supervision to terminate Byrd’s probation early if she is doing well at the end of three years.
Byrd’s mother, Eyvette L. Byrd, , is also charged with murder in the case and she has pleaded not guilty. She remains in jail awaiting trial.
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