One of the defendants charged with murder in a drug-deal-gone-awry, Covington's first reported homicide of 2008, was denied bond Tuesday in Newton County Superior Court.
Julian Holloway, 18, was charged with felony murder, kidnapping, violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act, and tampering with evidence in the shooting death of Ashley Obryant Vinson, 20, of Covington. Another co-defendant, Cecil Freeman Allen, 18, was also arrested and similarly charged with Vinson's death.
Judge Eugene Benton denied Holloway's request for a $30,000 bond and house arrest because, he said, of Holloway's past actions and the serious nature of the charge.
Holloway and Allen were allegedly buying about $20 worth of marijuana from Vinson on March 10 when a dispute arose and Vinson was shot in the back seat of Holloway's car at the Magnolia Heights Apartment complex.
The defendants fled to Holloway's home in the well-to-do Links subdivision, but Covington Police were able to trace the phone number of the 911 report back to Holloway's address.
Chief Assistant District Attorney Layla Zon outlined how the defendants initially refused to open the door but told police on the phone that the victim's body was still in their car. Officers were eventually let in and found Vinson's body in the backseat of the car in the garage with a large pool of blood and bag of marijuana.
Zon described how everything in the car had been taken out except the body. She said the defendants had attempted to flush the shell casings down the toilet, hide the .40 caliber handgun in the attic and admitted contemplating dumping the body in the lake.
She also described Holloway's past troubles and run-ins with the law as a juvenile, including being expelled from Eastside High School for attempting to sell $20 worth of marijuana and attempting to sell a stolen cell phone.
When Zon attempted to submit photographs from Holloway's password protected MySpace page, Holloway's attorney objected. Judge Eugene Benton declined to see them, saying they were not necessary for the purposes of the hearing.
Holloway's attorney, Harland Wood, of the Ford Law Firm in Alpharetta, called to the stand Holloway's father, mother, grandfather and church pastor to testify that Holloway would not be a flight risk, intimidation to witnesses, a danger to the community nor continue to commit felonies while out on bond.
Wood pointed out the incident, which he portrayed as possible manslaughter, arose out of a misdemeanor. He requested a $30,000 bond with an ankle monitor and house arrest, allowing for visits to his attorney and church.
Benton denied the request, citing the serious nature of the crime and Holloway's repeated drug usage.
This cases proves that drug use is not a victimless crime Benton said.