Originally created 12/20/97

Drug sting nabs man acquitted in killing



A former Harlem High School student acquitted of murder after he shot and killed a classmate at school four years ago was back in jail Friday, charged with selling cocaine to an undercover officer.

Edward Bryant Gillom, now 20, was being held at Warren County Jail on bonds totaling $100,000, said Warren County sheriff's Deputy DeWayne Wood.

Mr. Gillom, charged with two counts of sale of cocaine, was arrested Dec. 11 at his residence on Newton Street in Warrenton as part of a five-month undercover drug sting operation, Deputy Wood said.

Nineteen people, including Mr. Gillom, were charged in the investigation, which involved undercover officers who purchased drugs -- mostly cocaine -- from people in Warren County, Deputy Wood said.

Mr. Gillom, formerly of Harlem, Ga., was 15 when he took a .38-caliber revolver to Harlem High School and gunned down Ronricas "Pony" Gibson, 15, and Rico Lee, 17, in a school hallway the morning of March 18, 1993.

Mr. Gibson was killed. Mr. Lee survived his wounds but later drowned in a swimming accident.

Jurors acquitted Mr. Gillom of murder and aggravated assault after concluding the victims were bullies who frightened Mr. Gillom into taking a gun to school. Instead, Mr. Gillom was convicted of carrying a weapon at school and sentenced to five years in prison.

"He was originally sentenced to five years, but it was amended to be served on probation instead," said Jen Sarginson, a Georgia Department of Corrections spokeswoman.

Initially, Mr. Gillom was assigned to Arrendale State Prison, a north Georgia institution for young offenders, where he was admitted Sept. 23, 1994. The amended sentence placed him on four years of probation beginning Dec. 12, 1994, the day he was released from Arrendale, according to Ms. Sarginson.

As part of that probation, he was to serve his first 90 days at a youth detention center in Winder, Ga., from which he graduated March 2, 1995. His probation was scheduled to end Nov. 12, 1998.

However, the new charges likely will land Mr. Gillom back before his original sentencing judge, Albert Pickett of Augusta, said Mike Light, the prisons systems' information director.

"The probation office will, more than likely, obtain a warrant for a probation violation," Mr. Light said. "He could face possible revocation of probation in conjunction of the arrest."