2 Augusta teens charged in fatal Columbia County shooting to go on trial Tuesday

The trials of two Augusta teens accused of lying to police about a fatal shooting at the Belair Conference Center in March are expected to start today in Columbia County.

Brandon Devon Berry and Morreio Demetrius Carswell, both 18, were charged with making false statements to police regarding the March 19 shooting death of James Sterling Gillette Jr.

Attorney Peter Johnson, who represents Berry and Carswell, said at a hearing Monday morning that he expects each trial to last about a day.

Gillette, an employee of the Belair Conference Center, was shot during a 16th birthday party for a grandchild of the late entertainer James Brown.

Nearly 200 people showed up to the party, and fights drove the crowd into the parking lot of the Jimmie Dyess Parkway facility.

After shots were fired, Gillette was struck by a bullet as he tried to lead guests back inside, authorities said.

Johndrick Lors Levert Barnes, 20, of Augusta, is charged with murder in connection with the shooting.

Three other Augusta teens also were charged with lying to police about the incident. Deandre Tyrell Jones, 19, is expected to plead guilty at a sentencing hearing Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Natalie Paine said.

A 16-year-old, whose name was not released because of his age, was sentenced in July in Juvenile Court. Jordan Dashawn Harrison, 18, is still awaiting trial.

Barnes and Jones are being held in the Columbia County Detention Center. The others were released on bond.

Teen sentenced in connection to March shooting
$15,000 bond set for area teen
Bond in Belair conference center slaying
Suspects in birthday party shooting ordered for trial
Prosecution continues in Columbia County slaying
Sheriff's captain resigns after missed phone call
Clues sought in teen's death
Month after slaying, investigation continues

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