Court hears details of Augusta slaying, suspect arrest

Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012 3:15 PM
Last updated 9:01 PM
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Testimony and video re-created the aftermath of Steven Mikel’s homicide during the second day of the trial of Judy Washington on Tuesday.

A shaky video shot by a Richmond County sheriff’s investigator showed the dark, trash-strewn dead end of Ramsey Street, where Mikel, 45, was shot four times July 31.

Deputy Sean Nguyen was the first Richmond County officer to arrive on Ramsey Street, within sight of 15th Street’s Cherry Tree Crossing apartments, and told jurors he arrived minutes after getting a call for “shots fired with one person down.”

As he turned onto the street, eight to 10 people ran toward his cruiser yelling, “He got shot! He got shot!” Nguyen parked his car and walked toward the victim lying on a concrete slab. Mikel had been a paraplegic who was in a wheelchair.

“He appeared to have several gunshot wounds,” Nguyen said.

Onlookers said the killer was a black woman wearing black clothes and holding a pistol. She walked away calmly after shooting Mikel, witnesses testified.

Richmond County sheriff’s Cpl. Thomas King spoke next about the hour-long search for Washington. After five or six patrol cars circling the block couldn’t find her, King ordered the deputies to set up a perimeter and scan the street corners.

King found a spot in the deep shadows beside Shiloh Community Center and eventually saw Washington emerge from behind a church. She was walking along 15th Street when King pulled up in his car and confronted her, gun drawn.

“You always have to assume the suspect is armed,” King said, but Washington told him that she had thrown her pistol into the bushes. An investigator later testified that he recovered the .22-caliber handgun and some black clothing from a garden on the corner of Ramsey Street and Swanee Quintet Boulevard.

After searching her pockets, King placed Washington, 52, into the back of his police cruiser and took her to the sheriff’s office for questioning.

There, she placed several phone calls to her brother and a friend, Donna Washington.

Donna Washington testified Tuesday that she didn’t believe her friend when said she was under arrest on suspicion of murder.

Judy Washington was later indicted on charges of felony and malice murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. An investigator had to take the phone and convince Donna Washington that it was the truth.

“I didn’t believe she’d done it. That’s not her (nature),” she testified.


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