A 22-year-old Augusta man pleaded guilty Monday to murder and other charges for his role in a deadly home invasion.
Deandre M. Brown chose to take the prosecution’s plea offer instead of standing trial in Richmond County Superior Court, as scheduled this week.
“Mr. Brown is going to prison for life for $2 and a pack of cigarettes,” Assistant District Attorney Rex Myers said Monday.Brown pleaded guilty to felony murder, attempted armed robbery and aggravated assault in the killing of Charlie Jones III, 20.
The only reason Myers said he took the plea deal capping the prison sentence at life in prison with possible parole was that he needed Brown to testify against his co-defendants, Ronny R. Bonner, 21, and Willie E. Hooper, 23, who have pleaded not guilty in their cases.
About 3 a.m. on March 29, Brown joined Bonner and Hooper to rob Jeremy Alford, whom Bonner had bought marijuana from, the prosecutor said. As he usually did, Bonner texted Alford several times, the last time to say that he was at the front door, he said.
Alford told investigators that as soon as he opened the door to his 1439 Ridgewood Drive home, three masked, armed men rushed in.
They ordered Alford to “give it up,” Myers told the judge Monday, and Alford pulled out what he had in his pockets – $3, a pack of cigarettes and a marijuana cigarette butt.
As the men were yelling, James Wright decided to make a run for it. Wright had been sleeping in another part of the room, Myers said.
One of the gunmen with an assault-type rifle fired, littering the house with shell casings, Myers said. The gunman chased Wright down a hall and shot him and Jones. Wright survived but Jones died before paramedics arrived, Myers said.
The three assailants fled, dropping a dollar bill on the driveway as they left.