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Augusta man sentenced to life without parole for killing innocent bystander

Thursday, Aug 7, 2014 4:44 PM
Last updated Friday, Aug 8, 2014 7:26 AM
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Dachavous Murphy never met Ashley Brown, but that didn’t stop him from killing the 26-year-old innocent bystander.


On Thursday afternoon a Richmond County Superior Court jury convicted Murphy, 22, of murder in Brown’s death. He will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole.

What Murphy did was “a callous and cowardly act”, Assistant District Attorney Hank Syms said in asking for the maximum penalty for Brown’s murder.

Murphy had previously been convicted of misdemeanor vehicle homicide. While Syms said he is sure Murphy had no intent to kill Daniel Cohen, 30, in a March 28, 2010, crash, if anyone should have been more careful it was Murphy, the prosecutor said.

In the early morning hours of Sept. 15, 2011, after getting into a fight at what was then known as Club 5150 on Deans Bridge Road, and getting kicked out of the club, Murphy indiscriminately fired multiple gunshots into a crowd of people leaving the club.

Brown, who witnesses described as a solid citizen and loving person, had made a rare trip out to a nightclub that night for a birthday celebration for one of her best friends. Her last act may have saved that friend’s life.

“Ashley pulled me down,” Chauntel Smally told the jury this week about how her friend saved her when the shooting started.

When initially questioned by Richmond County Sheriff’s investigators, Murphy said he heard gunfire that night as he and his friend Robert Wright were driving away from the club. Wright, 27, told the same story.

But after two witnesses identified Murphy as the shooter, Murphy and Wright changed their stories, the prosecutor argued. The new story was that Murphy was with another friend who fired at the club. Murphy said he didn’t know what was going to happen until the friend fired through the window of the rear passenger-side seat, behind Murphy. Wright testified that he didn’t leave with Murphy that night, but later saw the other friend picking shell casings out of his vehicle.

Two other young men who gathered after the shooting with Murphy and Wright and the man Murphy identified as the shooter testified this week. Both testified they saw that man with 9 mm bullet casings that night.

That no 9 mm shell casings were found at the crime scene supports the defense, attorney Rick Goolsby argued to the jury in his closing statement. If Murphy had fired with his arm outside the passenger seat window as one witness described, why weren’t there any shell casings found, he asked. It does, however, fit Murphy’s statement that his friend fired the shots from inside the car.

Syms attacked the defense’s position in his closing statement, saying Murphy got a couple of buddies to implicate the other man.

Wright will be tried at a later date. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges -- murder, aggravated assault, criminal damage to property and a weapon violation.

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Pops 08/07/14 - 07:45 pm
What a blank look...

and totally soulless eyes.....society is much better off with this waste of air and space off the streets........

JRC2024 08/07/14 - 10:24 pm
He should have been given the

He should have been given the death sentance just like he gave that young lady.

myfather15 08/08/14 - 06:16 am
Kills one man in an accident,

Kills one man in an accident, shoots and kills a young woman; then he didn't just deny doing it, he tried to put it on an innocent person!! Rather than own up to what he did and be honest, he would rather see an innocent person in prison the rest of their lives!!

I wish they could give this scum bag the needle, or chair; but at least he will NEVER see a minute of freedom the rest of his life!! Bye Bye!!

jimmymac 08/08/14 - 07:49 am

It's great that this soulless thug has been convicted for killing his second victim. We will continue to have these types of senseless killings until we rid our society of them. It's a shame as Myfather said that he isn't getting the needle or chair because I feel that punks like this are a danger to prison officials. Animals like this have nothing to lose so they should be in solitary for the rest of their worthless life.

jmo 08/08/14 - 08:18 am
Now we can......

support him for fifty years. Should have gotten the needle, but that would have taken twenty years to carry out.

my.voice 08/08/14 - 09:09 am
I hope acting like a thug was

I hope acting like a thug was worth it. Join the rest of the punks in the cage. Foolish generation, foolish.

kiwiinamerica 08/08/14 - 10:09 pm

No moral pulse.

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