A Riverdale man will spend the rest of his life in prison after pleading guilty to a shooting that killed one man and left another victim disfigured.
Charon Brazzel, 29, pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault and possession of firearms during the commission of a crime, the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office said. Cobb County Superior Court Judge C. LaTain Kell sentenced Brazzel to life in prison plus five years.
Brazzel and co-defendant, 29-year-old Carl Maurice McCline of Smyrna, went to Belmont Place Apartments on Windy Hill Road in Marietta around 10 a.m. Oct. 4, 2016. According to prosecutors, Brazzel was armed with a Rohm RG .38 special revolver and told McCline that “he needed a ride to buy marijuana.”
Brazzel went inside the apartment unit while McCline waited outdoors. Once inside, prosecutors say Brazzel shot and killed Esmond Ford and shot another man twice, once each in the arm and right eye. The second shooting victim ran from the apartment and called police.
Prosecutors said McCline ran towards his vehicle at the sound of gunshots. He was soon followed by Brazzel, and the pair drove to McCline’s home.
Cobb County police traced McCline to his home, and learned the shooter was Brazzel. The department’s fugitive unit located the gunman on Oct. 7, which would have been Ford’s 26th birthday, the district attorney’s office said. Brazzel told Cobb police investigators that he shot Ford over disputes he had with the victim and to “avenge an alleged wrong” against his girlfriend.
Assistant District Attorney David Williamson said no punishment will bring Ford back or undo the “permanent injuries” the second victim sustained in the shooting.
“Senseless violence and terrible choices mean four families are forever changed by the crimes committed that day,” he said. “This is a fair and just resolution to an awful situation.”
Brazzel has been in custody since his arrest and will receive credit for time served. For his part in the shooting, McCline pleaded guilty on Monday to two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and one count of aggravated assault. He was sentenced by Judge Kell to 20 years, 10 of which he will serve in prison and the rest on probation. The judge also levied a $1,000 fine.
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