Originally created 05/29/99

Judge denies bond to murder suspects



Two men charged with murder in separate slayings last week were denied bond as they made their first appearances in court Friday.

Michael Shawn Sapp, 22, of Wrightsboro Road, and Dana Lynn Albright, 42, of Bon Air Apartments on 2101 Walton Way, are both being held at the Richmond County jail.

Mr. Sapp was arrested in the early morning hours of May 21 after 33-year-old Frank Lee Grant, of Hall Street, was shot during an argument on Broad Street.

A friend of Mr. Sapp's, angry because they had been thrown out of a bar, tried to pick a fight with Mr. Grant when the shooting victim approached them and asked for directions, officials said.

Mr. Sapp sees himself as his friend's "protector" and pistol-whipped Mr. Grant during the argument, prosecutors charge.

After Mr. Grant ran from the group, the same friend of Mr. Sapp's followed him and tried to start the argument again -- and Mr. Sapp again joined in the altercation, Assistant District Attorney Kelly VanGelder told Superior Court Judge William M. Fleming Jr. Mr. Grant was shot in the chest with a .380-caliber revolver.

"We feel he (Mr. Sapp) has an utter disregard for human life, based on what he did," Mrs. VanGelder said. "We think he is a threat to the community and a threat to commit more felonies."

Less than 24 hours later, 61-year-old Lee Edgar Freeman was shot in the face during an argument in his Bon Air apartment.

Prosecutors say Mr. Albright was arguing with Mr. Freeman after the victim said Mr. Albright's advances to a female acquaintance were inappropriate.

The angle of the shot shows that Mr. Freeman was lying on the floor and his attacker was standing over him when the rifle shot was fired, although Mr. Albright told police the two men were struggling over the gun when it went off, Mrs. VanGelder said.

The district attorney's office opposed bond for Mr. Albright because officials believe he is a threat to the community and a flight risk, she said.

Alisa DeMao can be reached at (706) 823-3223 or ademao@augustachronicle.com.