Teen shooting suspect to be tried as adult

A teenager accused of nearly killing a man during a burglary at Merrick Place Apartments in February will be tried as an adult.

Aaron Bey, 16, is facing charges of aggravated assault, burglary and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime in the shooting of Wayne Eggins Jr. on Feb. 18, according to Richmond County Assistant District Attorney Natalie Paine. At a juvenile court hearing last week, Bey's case was transferred to Richmond County Superior Court, Paine said.

Eggins spent more than a month in the hospital after he was shot while interrupting the burglary at the west Augusta apartment complex.

Shortly after midnight Feb. 18, Eggins, 24, returned home from work and spotted someone breaking into his neighbor's apartment. His own home had already been burglarized.

Eggins grabbed the man, punched him and dragged him toward the front of the apartment. That's when a second man came around, pistol-whipped Eggins and shot him.

The burglars drove to the adjacent apartment complex, where witnesses noticed them acting suspiciously right after they heard shots.

Their information, paired with what others saw, led to the arrest of Stanley Fields, 18, of the 1900 block of Wrightsboro Road.

Bey, whose name was previously not released because he was initially charged as a juvenile, was arrested later that night and taken to the Regional Youth Detention Center.

The attack left Eggins almost completely paralyzed on the left side of his body. He and his girlfriend, Monique Johnson-Sullivan, have moved into a single-story apartment so Eggins can get around in his wheelchair. In an interview with The Chronicle last month, Eggins said he will have surgery in a few months to replace the piece of plastic that's currently covering his brain.

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Murder Indictments

A Richmond County grand jury issued indictments this week in two local murder cases.

Jonathan Devar Harrell, Joseph Ty're Downs and Nicholas Nathaniel Johnson were indicted on charges including murder, aggravated assault and weapons charges in connection to the May 2009 shooting of 20-year-old Tremayne Markis Cobbs. Cobbs was fatally shot in the head in the parking lot of an Econo Lodge, 2051 Gordon Highway.

Witnesses told authorities that the men had been arguing while on their way to a nearby Waffle House when more than 10 shots were fired into a silver Chevrolet Suburban.

Cobbs' body was found lying on the curb near the vehicle, police said at the time. Two other victims, 16-year-old Exzavius Bray and 19-year-old Danvanqwez Burley, were shot in their legs.

Also indicted were Christopher Loray Price, 24, and Billy Lee Smith, 28. The two are charged with murder, false imprisonment and weapons charges in connection with the Jan. 18 choking death of Dustin Lunsford, who they are accused of killing in the Savannah Suites on Wrightsboro Road.