Man refuses to testify against former co-defendant

Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 7:08 PM
Last updated 8:50 PM
  • Follow Crime & courts



Within a few days of being brought back to Augusta to testify in the murder trial of a former co-defendant, Deandre Brown decided he wasn’t going to cooperate on Tuesday after all.

Although Brown said he knew what could happen – that he could be re-sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of ever being paroled – Brown insisted he wouldn’t testify against Willie Hooper.

“I’m done talking,” Brown said to Assistant District Attorney Rex Myers.

With the prosecution’s case having imploded, Myers again offered Hooper a deal, this time for eight years in prison followed by five years probation.

Hooper, 24, who had pleaded not guilty to charges that include murder and armed robbery, took the deal. He pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to voluntary manslaughter, attempted armed robbery and aggravated assault.

In the early morning hours of March 29, 2012, Hooper joined Brown, 23, and Ronny Bonner, 21, in a plan to rob Jeremy Alford, a man whom Bonner had been buying marijuana from for several months.

Before Hooper took the deal and ended his trial, Alford testified Tuesday that Bonner had called several times between 1 and 3 a.m. about coming to buy marijuana. In the last call, Bonner said he was at Alford’s front door. When Alford opened the door, three armed men rushed in, Alford testified.

“They put guns to my head and told me to get on the ground,” Alford said. Alford’s brother, James Wright, popped up from his bed – set up in the nearby dining room – when the men started yelling for him to give them money, and that’s when the shooting started, according to Alford’s testimony.

As Wright ran down the hall to try to escape, the masked man armed with what looked like an assault rifle chased after him, firing 10 to 20 shots, Alford testified.
Wright made it out of the house, but he was shot in the arm. Alford’s best friend, Charlie Jones III, who was in a back bedroom, never made it out of bed. The 20-year-old died from his wounds at the house.

Bonner was convicted at trial and sentenced to life in prison, plus 15 years.

Because Brown reneged on the plea agreement, Myers said he would file a motion seeking to have Brown re-sentenced. He had been serving life in prison with the possibility of parole.

At the time of Jones’ murder, Hooper had been out of prison less than a year. When he was 17 years old, Hooper and four teens robbed two pizza delivery employees and a Chinese restaurant delivery man.

Hooper still has 13 years of probation remaining on that sentence.

Comments (9) Add comment
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fishman960
1492
Points
fishman960 11/12/13 - 08:58 pm
3
0
Where did we go wrong?

The sad life of the moral decay of America.

Dixieman
15839
Points
Dixieman 11/12/13 - 10:16 pm
11
0
The thought process underlying this

"Okay, now I am a stand-up dude, never testify against a buddy, so I got lots of street cred and respect...and now I'm going to do life without parole. Pretty sharp deal on my part, huh?"

willie Lee
423
Points
willie Lee 11/13/13 - 06:15 am
0
10
Somethings Are More Important
Unpublished

Yea Dixieman...but he has his self respect. I hate a "Rat".

Dixieman
15839
Points
Dixieman 11/13/13 - 06:45 am
9
0
??

"Rat" = good citizen who participates in society's criminal justice system by giving honest testimony to the police and in court about crimes he has seen or participated in.
So please remind me again why being a "rat" is a bad thing?

realitycheck09
307
Points
realitycheck09 11/13/13 - 11:55 am
1
0
Wow

The article doesn't say it, but apparently the guy who refused to testify got a 12 year sentence. He probably would have gotten out in less time than that. Now he's going to die in prison.

I suppose Willie Lee would be okay with that, though, right?

curly123053
4876
Points
curly123053 11/13/13 - 12:22 pm
1
1
Sad!

I say shoot them both, PERIOD !! Case closed!!

dichotomy
34304
Points
dichotomy 11/13/13 - 02:39 pm
1
1
Put all of them to death and

Put all of them to death and be done with the low life scum. None of them deserve to be breathing the same air as real people.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 11/13/13 - 03:36 pm
1
0
snitches get stitches he

snitches get stitches

he probably weighed it like this. If I spill my guts, they gone kill me for being a rat, even in prison. If I keep my mouth closed, they give me 3 hots and a cot for eternity. And who knows what can happen one day. The unknown vs the known.

Fiat_Lux
15887
Points
Fiat_Lux 11/13/13 - 10:01 pm
0
0
For the last 5 or 6 decades, we've been breeding

generation after generation of sociopaths. These fall into that category.

There are millions just like them in the United States now. Richmond county is festering from them. They have no idea what it is to be human beyond getting what they want. Attachment is not a matter of heart but of goal-oriented practicality.

The clever ones are the most dangerous.

willie Lee
423
Points
willie Lee 11/13/13 - 10:46 pm
0
1
Read the fine Print
Unpublished

Rat = Rat! Dixieman you missed the entire point. No one is complaining of a citizen testifying as to what he saw or heard or to anything relevant to the trial, however, to Rat on your friend in order to cut yourself a better deal is as low as one can get. If you are man enough to commit the evil and get caught, then “man up” and take your chances. If convicted, take your punishment, but do not throw your friend under the bush by stabbing him in the back to cut your time. Have a little self respect and courage. This is a true test of character.
Myers, like every D.A. in the country is a bureaucrat who could not hack it as a real attorney on the outside so he lives of the tax payer’s dime and will do anything, including suborning perjury to get a conviction. That's the problem with being the D.A.'s B;itch. The D.A.’s offer a lesser sentence to one in order to create a snitch to sell out his friend on the other. These are the Rats that get my wrath and deserve any repercussions which might occur in the “big house”.

Fiat_Lux
15887
Points
Fiat_Lux 11/14/13 - 07:46 am
0
0
And, with Willie Lee,

we can see with total clarity what the mindset of one segment of our populace actually is when it comes to law and order, right and wrong, civic responsibility, moral and ethical obligations and above all, dealing with "the Man".

These worms killed a young man in his bed as part of trying to steal something for their own sorry, worthless selves. They already are complete and total lowlife. Being a rat would be a huge step up, Willie.

Do you have a clue what moral responsibility is? How about simple right and wrong?

This is sickening and frightening.

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