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Details of attack on high school student unfold

Defense says teen didn't take part

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On most mornings, Terence Reese awakens to pain in his jaw where it was broken more than six months ago. He can no longer fully close his mouth -- the result of two surgeries to repair the fracture. He's also lost 40 pounds and had to change high schools earlier this month.

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Defendant Branndon Manson talks to his lawyer, Jason Hasty, at the Municipal Building in Augusta. Manson is accused in the March 1 beating of Terence Reese, 16. Hasty contends Manson was present but did not participate in the attack on Reese.   Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Defendant Branndon Manson talks to his lawyer, Jason Hasty, at the Municipal Building in Augusta. Manson is accused in the March 1 beating of Terence Reese, 16. Hasty contends Manson was present but did not participate in the attack on Reese.

But as he took the stand Monday in the Superior Court trial for Branndon Manson, one of five teens accused of causing his injuries, the now-17-year-old Reese said the effect on his family has been particularly difficult.

The oldest of four boys, Reese said his younger brothers are afraid to roughhouse with him because they don't want to hurt him further. Reese's 4-year-old brother still cries "they beat up TT," using his family nickname, when he remembers the wounds on his older sibling's face. Reese's mother, Taanja, is being treated for symptoms of post-traumatic stress syndrome stemming from the attack.

"It's hard to smile anymore with my teeth (the way they are)," Reese told the court.

Of the five arrested in the March 1 attack that left Reese lying bloody on the asphalt of Circular Drive, only the cases of Manson and his cousin Berten Blockett were moved from Richmond County Juvenile Court to Superior Court.

At the time, Judge Willie Saunders justified their transfer in part by citing the "very egregious nature of this offense and the community's interest in combating a rash of teen and gang-related violence."

He said that while there are grounds to believe all five participated in the beating, Manson and Blockett "readily admit to their involvement in this crime," whereas in the other cases the connection was not as clear.

The other three, Mark Daniel Musick, Ross Nipple and Joshua Plowright, have been tried in juvenile court.

Musick was given three years' probation, and Nipple will be incarcerated in a juvenile facility for two years. Plowright was cleared by Saunders, who cited conflicting evidence about whether he was present for the assault.

A date for Blockett's trial has yet to be set.

In her opening statement to the jury, Assistant District Attorney Natalie Spires described the events leading up to Reese's attack:

He had just finished walking a female friend home from Butler High School when he felt a pine cone hit him in the back. Then Blockett began trying to pick a fight. As Reese continued walking, he was punched in the face and fell to the ground. Punches and kicks followed.

His attackers are accused of claiming various gang affiliations. They told Reese that they were "locking down the block," vowing to assault the first person who came in their territory.

"His life will never be the same and all because he happened to be walking home from school on the wrong street," Spires said.

Manson's attorney, Jason Hasty, argued that while there's no denying his client was present for the attack, there is no evidence that Manson hit Reese.

"We admit that," he said. "That's not good, but the evidence will show Branndon did not participate in the attack."

Like Reese, Hasty said, Manson was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

He also suggested that a recording of the police interview will show investigators intimidated the teen into admitting the crime.

The trial will resume at 9:30 a.m. today.

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Brenda_G
1
Points
Brenda_G 09/21/10 - 02:54 am
0
0
In for a penny, in for a

In for a penny, in for a pound.

nofrillls13
0
Points
nofrillls13 09/21/10 - 06:16 am
0
0
If he did nothing to stop

If he did nothing to stop this beating then he is just as guilty as the persons or persons who did. He is a thug who hangs out with thugs. now he wants us to believe he was there but thats as far as it goes? Send him a way for a very long time!

Dixieman
14360
Points
Dixieman 09/21/10 - 06:39 am
0
0
nofrills13 - Disagree.

nofrills13 - Disagree. Failing to stop a beating by your friends is despicable and morally wrong but is NOT a crime (and should not be one).

fatboyhog
1902
Points
fatboyhog 09/21/10 - 06:47 am
0
0
Party to a crime. Lock him

Party to a crime. Lock him up. Toss the key.

bojangles
0
Points
bojangles 09/21/10 - 07:10 am
0
0
These kids are pure trash and

These kids are pure trash and that't why no one wants to live in Richmond County. Willie Saunders is just as bad for not making an example out of these cowardly "thugs" who have to beat up a guy 5 on 1. Richmond County schools are consistantly ranked in the bottom 10th percentile in the ENITRE state (which includes some backwoods places), there have already been 29 MURDERS so far this year, and the students/ citizens who are working their butts off to improve their lives are being overshadowing and beaten up by this gutter trash.

seenitB4
85283
Points
seenitB4 09/21/10 - 07:14 am
0
0
So sad because this was a

So sad because this was a safe & great place in the 70's ...who cares about wrong place-wrong time ..THAT is BS....The jerks causing the beating need their butts put in lockdown...when is it ok for hoodlums to TAKE a street?? Richmond county police ...please take back these neighborhoods, the people are begging for law & order.
$$$$ needs to go to the Police Dept. (Augusta Leaders)

corgimom
31086
Points
corgimom 09/21/10 - 07:14 am
0
0
That poor child- please send

That poor child- please send those thugs a message and sentence them to a LONG sentence, so they can't do this to another innocent person.

C2Soldier
0
Points
C2Soldier 09/21/10 - 07:27 am
0
0
How do kids take over a

How do kids take over a block? Some say it's not the adults fault but I disagree in such cases. Citizens on this block need to take control of it. Police can't stop kids from walkin together but a parent can. I know it works. My daughter spent one weekend in a cell for her conduct and with one year probation she straightened tell up. How can these parents let their children get to this level?

curly123053
4550
Points
curly123053 09/21/10 - 07:32 am
0
0
Where did the days go where

Where did the days go where if a group committed a crime then they were all just as guilty? That used to be the case years ago until the ACLU started trying to get criminals the lowest incarceration time possible. The American Criminals Liberation Union(ACLU) has always worked to keep the thugs out of prison. Hopefully these thugs get long sentences so they will at least be in their 40's or 50's before getting out.

augustahistorybuff
49
Points
augustahistorybuff 09/21/10 - 08:24 am
0
0
Consequently, all these teens

Consequently, all these teens should be in adult court. If one was at the assault and did not try to stop the others, he’s just as guilty. It’s time to show these are OUR streets, not the gangs’. We own the streets as a tax payer. It’s time to put together a gang task force involved with special operations like other metropolitan areas with growing problems. There are ways to combat this problem, but only if the right leadership comes to the forefront to do it. Right now, messages being sent out aren’t strong enough.

mable8
2
Points
mable8 09/21/10 - 08:30 am
0
0
"Locking down the block"...so

"Locking down the block"...so who died and left these thugs the gatekeepers to the neighborhood? The fact that Manson was at the scene is grounds enough to say he participated, especially when he did nothing to stop the attack. Charles Manson wasn't present at the Tate and LaBianca murders either, but he was still convicted of those crimes. So what makes this felon any different? He and his gang members should be forced to pay all medical costs as part of their sentence.

C2Soldier
0
Points
C2Soldier 09/21/10 - 08:34 am
0
0
I believe a child that thinks

I believe a child that thinks he/she is an adult should be treated as an adult. The court schedules are full of kids like this. Most cases of children causing mischief end up dead docketed and never seen in court. These kids don't fear the courts, parents, teachers! They are a threat to society and should be in big boy jail. Judge Flannigan needs to get a bigger stick.

ripjones
2
Points
ripjones 09/21/10 - 08:48 am
0
0
Sorry Dixie, you're wrong.

Sorry Dixie, you're wrong. Being there, makes this piece of excrement an accessory. Bojangles - you however, are right. I said it @ the hearing, Willie screwed up, and I would tell it to his face. All five should have been sent to Big-Boy jail, and shown what little pieces of waste they are. Terence was a good guy. My thoughts and prayers are for you and your family. We've got to take back our streets and neighborhoods. Neighborhood Watch is going to become Neighborhood Patrol. And it is time for parents to be held responsible for their little thugs actions.

PUPPYMOMMA
1344
Points
PUPPYMOMMA 09/21/10 - 09:25 am
0
0
What goes around comes

What goes around comes around. Expect to read their names in the paper again within the next 10 years. My empathy is with Terence Reece. Maybe his family will have some luck in civil court.

C2Soldier
0
Points
C2Soldier 09/21/10 - 09:39 am
0
0
I think the law should be

I think the law should be able to tatoo these individuals on their foreheads. The tottoo would consist of their name, their crime, parole officers phone number and "how am I behaving?" lol

KingJames
10
Points
KingJames 09/21/10 - 11:17 am
0
0
The hand of one is the hand

The hand of one is the hand of all! If Manson didn't do anything to try to stop the beating, then he is at the very least an accessory to the crime. When I was young, if people fought, then they fought one-on-one for a reason. No one ever jumped on someone else without provocation. People watched, but if what was happening turned into a beating instead of a fight, we would intervene. Most times, the person winning the fight would stop and tell the other guy that it was over and he should go home. Those were fights. These days, things escalate to beatings and even killings. I hope Mr. Reese completely recovers soon.

countyman
19718
Points
countyman 09/21/10 - 11:29 am
0
0
Bojangles... And kids like

Bojangles... And kids like this don't live in Aiken or Columbia County? Then why are there both gangs and fights in each county.

One of the kids had just moved from Thomson-Mcduffie County to Augusta/Richmond County not too long before.

P.S. The best selling neighborhood in 2009 in the ENTIRE CSRA(Willhaven) is located in Richmond County...

Richmond County had the only school in the ENTIRE state of GA(Davidson) to be ranked in the U.S News and World report top 100 schools in america. The third consecutive year Davidson made the list.

Compare the Richmond County graduation rate vs the rest of the CSRA counties...

AugustaVoter
2
Points
AugustaVoter 09/21/10 - 11:29 am
0
0
Hang em high. I just hope

Hang em high. I just hope Judge Overstreet isn't presiding on this one. They would get off with probation from him.

FallingLeaves
27
Points
FallingLeaves 09/21/10 - 11:45 am
0
0
countyman, why don't you just

countyman, why don't you just call your self "I'marealestatesalesman"? It's seems to me that's all you care about: your property values, while destructive and desperate people are shooting, stabbing, robbing, and people are dying. This isn't supposed to be a war zone.

countyman
19718
Points
countyman 09/21/10 - 12:19 pm
0
0
I think you're confusing me

I think you're confusing me with Augusta Chronicle, WRDW, and NBC Augusta. I don't hide the crime and problems in the school system in the suburban counties. To make sure property values don't drop.

I was replying to bojangles statement. It's funny when people try to point the finger, and three more are pointing back at them.

In Columbia County none of their citizens would walk alone at night around Cox Alley in Evans, Ridge Crossing or some of the apts of Blue Ridge Drive in Martinez, or parts of Grovetown and Harlem city limits.

In Aiken County none of their citizens would walk alone at night around Bradleyville road in North Augusta, T & S trailer park in Aiken, or Kalmia Apartments in Graniteville..

crackerjack
150
Points
crackerjack 09/21/10 - 12:18 pm
0
0
"THE HAND OF ONE, IS THE HAND

"THE HAND OF ONE, IS THE HAND OF ALL!" That is the same law that sends 2 or 3 people to prison for the murder of one person. They were present and did nothing to stop it. I predict murders in Augusta/RC will reach 40 by the end of this year. And as long as the voters keep electing the same people everytime, who won't properly fund the police dept., the violent crimes will increase.

Richmond County trains the Officers, and because of low pay, they transfer to the surrounding areas for higher pay. Here's a thought......raise their pay above the surrounding counties, and some of them will return.

3g
0
Points
3g 09/21/10 - 12:15 pm
0
0
Everyone jumping on

Everyone jumping on Countyman's case and projecting their doomsday attitude - you all need to chill out , simmer down and be positive and proactive instead of spreading YOUR fear , losers .

PUPPYMOMMA
1344
Points
PUPPYMOMMA 09/21/10 - 12:16 pm
0
0
Willhaven-built by illegal

Willhaven-built by illegal mexicans,marketed to the military. I will give you credit countyman for looking at the positive. You are right on target about Ridge Crossing .

yawningloudly
0
Points
yawningloudly 09/21/10 - 12:20 pm
0
0
COUNTYMAN what happened to

COUNTYMAN what happened to you in columbia county you seem to absolutely despise anything but richmond county.....break any laws here because ive never seen anyone down a county that compared to your love richmond county really has no crime and good lord dont compare your murder rate and assault rates with columbia county because there is no comparison!

countyman
19718
Points
countyman 09/21/10 - 12:24 pm
0
0
Thankyou 3q. I never once

Thankyou 3q. I never once said Richmond County didn't have bad neighborhoods or crime..

Yawningloudly. It's funny how you have a problem with my comment, but you didn't say anything to bojangles. I used to live in CC and have nothing against the county. I didn't say anything negative about CC either if you read my post. I wouldn't have even brought up Columbia County if Bojangles wouldn't have brought up Richmond County first..

yawningloudly
0
Points
yawningloudly 09/21/10 - 12:25 pm
0
0
and county man all those

and county man all those places you named yeah you may be right but most of us keep control of our kids and we have jobs to get to in the morning so nope we columbia countians dont hang out on the block till three o clock in the morning

countyman
19718
Points
countyman 09/21/10 - 12:34 pm
0
0
Okay, I don't want to argue

Okay, I don't want to argue about RC vs CC..

Lol most Richmond countians don't hang out on the block till three am either. Even alot of the housing projects are fairly empty by then... Since alot of them have curfews in place.

bojangles
0
Points
bojangles 09/21/10 - 12:37 pm
0
0
Countyman, There are idiots

Countyman,

There are idiots everywhere including Columbia County, Aiken, and the rest. The difference being Richmond County is becoming increasingly ridden with crime (29 murders SO FAR this year) and the schools that do not require testing for admission are struggling. The Richmond County school district is in the bottom ten of over 150 districts in the state while Columbia County is number 7 overall. Schools like Glenn Hills have made huge improvements in the quality of education the students are receiving, but the staggering number of schools that failed to meet AYP is outrageous. My wife is a graduate of Davidson High School and I hope nothing but the best for Augusta in trying to make it a better place to live.

bojangles
0
Points
bojangles 09/21/10 - 12:37 pm
0
0
Countyman, There are idiots

Countyman,

There are idiots everywhere including Columbia County, Aiken, and the rest. The difference being Richmond County is becoming increasingly ridden with crime (29 murders SO FAR this year) and the schools that do not require testing for admission are struggling. The Richmond County school district is in the bottom ten of over 150 districts in the state while Columbia County is number 7 overall. Schools like Glenn Hills have made huge improvements in the quality of education the students are receiving, but the staggering number of schools that failed to meet AYP is outrageous. My wife is a graduate of Davidson High School and I hope nothing but the best for Augusta in trying to make it a better place to live.

countyman
19718
Points
countyman 09/21/10 - 01:07 pm
0
0
There are 5 murders in

There are 5 murders in Columbia County and 10 in Aiken County this year. There will be 11 in Aiken, if the guy who was shot last night doesn't make it. Richmond County is becoming increasingly ridden with crime because the number of murders? Aren't several crimes in Richmond County down this year?

Is CC and AC becoming increasingly ridden with crime? Because there are crimes who are higher this year compared to last?

Didn't violent crime decrease in Richmond County last year?

Didn't violent crime increase in Aiken and Columbia county last year?

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