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Judge denies bond in 2012 River Glen slaying

Thursday, May 23, 2013 1:26 PM
Last updated 8:40 PM
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Bond was denied Thursday for a suspect in a 2012 homicide at River Glen apartments that authorities believe might have caused a second slaying.

Christopher Gary Smith, 25, was extradited from California last month. Richmond County sheriff’s officers had been unable to locate Smith after the Jan. 14, 2012, shooting death of 27-year-old Doniel J. Hicks.

Assistant District Attorney Laura Stewart said Thursday that Hicks was gunned down in front of several witnesses in the apartment complex in the 200 block of East Boundary. They described Smith and Hicks arguing because Smith thought Hicks had stolen $80 from him, Stewart said. Hicks died from a gunshot wound to his back.

Two days later, Smith called a sheriff’s investigator claiming the shooting was in self-defense. None of the witnesses, Stewart said, corroborate that claim.

Less than a month after Hicks’ slaying, Truemaine Jones, 27, who was a witness to Hicks’ death, was shot to death in the River Glen apartment complex, Stewart said. Investigators believe Soweto K. Moody, 20, killed Jones in retaliation for Hicks’ slaying, she said.

Lee Prescott, of the public defender’s office, asked Superior Court Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. to consider Smith’s request for bond. Smith has extensive family ties in the Augusta area, no felony convictions and a job if he could be released pending trial, Prescott said.

Smith does have a possible self-defense defense to the charge, Prescott said, and there is an issue as to the changes witnesses made in statements to sheriff investigators.

Smith is on the June 17 trial calendar in Richmond County Superior Court.


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