The four young men charged with the death of 59-year-old Fred Layne Beeler are in court today for motion statuses in their cases.
Just over a year after the beating death of Beeler, Justin Lee Bennett, 21, Shavarious Jawan Moses, 18, Preston Ranard Mason, 22, Shane Deforest Winter, 22, will stand before Newton County Superior Court Judge Ken Wynne to give updates on the status of their cases. Bennett is represented by Reginald L. Winfrey, Moses by Sherri L. Washington and Winter by Linda W. Lyons. The youngest of a group was granted a bond, although he has yet to post the amount needed to earn him freedom from the Newton County Jail.
According to court records, Winter knew the victim because Beeler and his live-in girlfriend rented their West Street home from Winter's grandmother. Winter decided to "get some friends together and try to take some money" from the victim; money Winter believed the victim owed his grandmother.
The group parked on a side street and two of the teens brought weapons, Bennett a crowbar and Moses a hammer. The door of the home was kicked in and, according to records, "everyone says Bennett struck the victim repeatedly with the weapon."
Beeler's girlfriend later heard a noise in the living room, and when she went in to check on Beeler, she found him lying on the couch bleeding profusely. He was transported to Atlanta Medical Center but doctors were unable to save him.
The group was arrested very shortly afterwards and have remained in the Newton County Jail since that time.
Moses, Mason and Winter are both charged with three counts of felony murder, criminal attempt to commit a felony, aggravated assault and burglary. Bennett is additionally charged with one count of malice murder.