Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Three arrests made in fatal Columbia County burglary

Saturday, March 3, 2012 8:26 PM
Last updated 10:46 PM
  • Follow Crime & courts

Columbia County authorities have arrested three suspected accomplices of Justin Anthony Stephens, who was shot and killed while attempting to burglarize an apartment.

Back | Next
Augusta, Jose Lopez-Gamero, 21, was arrested in connection with a burglary in Columbia County that occurred Wednesday.   Special
Special
Augusta, Jose Lopez-Gamero, 21, was arrested in connection with a burglary in Columbia County that occurred Wednesday.

Edward Albert Brown III, 19, Jose Lopez-Gamero, 21, and Leonard Jamal Walton, 18, were arrested Saturday and are being held at Columbia County jail without bond.

Investigators said around 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Stephens and Walton, both dressed in black and wearing bandanas over their faces, knocked on a Petersburg Square apartment door and forced their way inside.

The police report said the men attacked Bruce Randell Barrett, 42, when he answered the door. His 15-year-old son ran into Barrett’s bedroom and retrieved a rifle and fired twice at the intruders.

Stephens was struck both times and was pronounced dead at the scene. He died from a gunshot to his back, said Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins.

Capt. Steve Morris said Brown was waiting outside and Lopez-Gamero was in a car on the street.

All three men are being charged with burglary. Brown and Walton are also charged with simple battery and Brown has an added charge of criminal attempt to commit a felony, according to the jail’s Web site.

Barrett’s son will not be charged as his actions are considered “justifiable homicide,” said Morris.

Comments (11) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Cynical old woman
1099
Points
Cynical old woman 03/03/12 - 09:29 pm
9
0
Good job Col Cty law

Good job Col Cty law enforcement.

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 03/03/12 - 11:19 pm
7
0
Aren't there some sort of
Unpublished

Aren't there some sort of charges they have for accomplices when their crime ends up with someone being hurt or killed. I'm pretty sure there is if it is the victim hurt or killed, but why not when their criminal associate is too?? Sounds good to me!!!!! lol My thoughts are, evidently they don't want their freedom if they are out committing these kinds of crimes knowing they can go to jail, so why not give them what they want. =) On second thought, with this bleeding heart justice system we have, they probably never thought they would do much if any time anyway no matter what the crime, so why not!!

redapples
658
Points
redapples 03/03/12 - 11:29 pm
7
0
What a bunch of dirtbags!

What a bunch of dirtbags! Hope they get the just punishment they deserve if found guilty. As for the young man that was shot and killed, my condolences to his family, but let that serve as fair warning to others that law abiding citizens are sick and tired of being victims. We are taking our communities back, one bad guy at a time!

csraguy
2220
Points
csraguy 03/04/12 - 12:51 am
5
0
Great Job Columbia County

Great Job Columbia County Sheriff's Office. Lets hope the court system puts and keeps them were they belong.

seenitB4
85292
Points
seenitB4 03/04/12 - 06:14 am
4
0
Great job Columbia

Great job Columbia County.....ya the best.

cozzster
50
Points
cozzster 03/04/12 - 07:51 am
0
0
woah that guy is cool...wish
Unpublished

woah that guy is cool...wish I tattooed 47 on my neck so I could be cool like that too

scorehouse
196
Points
scorehouse 03/04/12 - 10:32 am
0
0
is this a big complex? why
Unpublished

is this a big complex? why would they target this man? wonder if they hit the wrong apartment? quick thinking to run and grab a gun to protect yourself. makes you want to keep a sawed-off by your side alll the time.

Martinez
154
Points
Martinez 03/04/12 - 11:02 am
2
0
GaStang - Georgia is one of a

GaStang - Georgia is one of a few states that does not utilize the Felony Murder statute. The statute states that a person commits murder "when, in the commission of a felony, he causes the death of another human being." Problem being, Georgia Supreme Court ruled in 1981 (State vs. Crane) that the death of a would-be felon does not allow the State to charge a surviving accomplice with felony murder when the death was caused by the victim. With that being said, because this happened in Georgia, there won't be additional charges.

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 03/04/12 - 07:11 pm
0
0
Thank for the info Martinez!!
Unpublished

Thank for the info Martinez!! I don't like it or agree with it, but I like to be educated on subjects I do not know about!! lol Thanks again!! =)

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 03/04/12 - 07:25 pm
1
0
Martinez, what about this
Unpublished

Martinez, what about this one? Why does it keep being referred to as a burglary? I thought for a burglary charge to be successful you have to show proof of break in or attempt to break in. Usually, not always, burglaries are for when the victims arent present. These guys didn't break in they more like strong armed as in like a home invasion or robbery attempt.

Sorry, don't mean to bug you and its not your job, but you answered the first so well and upon my research even in GA laws, it seems robbery is more correct. Thanks =)

Whim
4
Points
Whim 03/05/12 - 02:58 am
2
0
GaStang, I'm in law

GaStang, I'm in law enforcement (though not with Columbia County). Burglary (paraphrased) is, when one, without authority, enters or remains in a dwelling with the intent to commit a felony or theft therein. One does not need to force or break in nor is it dependent on whether or not the owner is home or not. I am a little puzzled as to why they were not charged with robbery or attempted robbery by force, but I'm not too familiar with the circumstances of the case. Nevertheless, I commend them on the quick apprehension of the others involved.

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 03/05/12 - 08:26 am
1
0
Isn't it strange how the two

Isn't it strange how the two youngest ones were the ones who went in while the oldest waited outside? How much influence do you think older criminals have over younger ones? I heard a couple people say the youngest one who was killed went to Evans High School and was well liked. I certainly hate for any life to be lost but in this situation I would have defended myself in the same way and I am glad the others were caught.

Riverman1
82183
Points
Riverman1 03/05/12 - 08:36 am
0
0
I wonder if the 15 year old

I wonder if the 15 year old boy who shot the intruder went to Evans High School too?

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 03/05/12 - 08:55 am
0
0
I don't know Riverman but I

I don't know Riverman but I feel so sorry for him to have to go through this and I hope he has no problems in school because of it.

Riverman1
82183
Points
Riverman1 03/05/12 - 08:56 am
0
0
Stillamazed, yes, that was my

Stillamazed, yes, that was my thought, too. Let's hope he's okay.

Riverman1
82183
Points
Riverman1 03/05/12 - 06:54 pm
0
0
The felony murder law will

The felony murder law will not apply in this case. Here is an explanation:

Georgia (Ga. Code. Ann. 16-5-1)

A person commits murder when, in the commission of a felony, he causes the death of another person, irrespective of malice. A person convicted of this offense must be punished by death or by life imprisonment.

The state Supreme Court refused to hold a person liable for a death caused by a person who was not the defendant or an accomplice to the felony. In State v. Crane, 279 S.E.2d 695 (Ga. 1981) the intended victim of the crime shot and killed a would-be burglar and the deceased burglar's accomplices were charged with felony murder. While the court favored an interpretation of Georgia's felony-murder statute to include deaths indirectly caused by one of the parties, it ruled that the state's rules of statutory interpretation required that ambiguous statutes be construed against the state.

http://www.cga.ct.gov/2008/rpt/2008-r-0087.htm

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs