Beating defendant wants trial moved - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Beating defendant wants trial moved

Sumter County-- Four men stand accused of viciously attacking two Americus convenience store clerks. The October beating was caught on tape, and that led investigators to the suspects.

Now the lawyer for one of the suspects is asking for a change of venue, and he says the brutal beatings where two women were savagely attacked shouldn't be referred to as 'brutal' or 'savage.'

Sixty-four year-old Emma Wainwright is brutally beaten by a man police have identified as Lakedrick Johnson. "He's charged with two counts of robbery, two counts of aggravated assault, aggravated battery and two counts of battery," says Johnson's lawyer, Roosevelt Carter.

Because thousands of people watched the surveillance video on WALB, Carter has filed a motion for change of venue. "We believe that because of the media publicity about this case that it's probably best that a jury of Sumter County not hear this, being that everyone in Sumter County knows about this particular incident," says Carter.

He hopes the trial will be moved to Clayton or Richmond Counties. And Carter has filed another interesting and rather unusual motion. He says, "The second motion that we filed is a motion to prevent the district attorney or any state witness from using the words 'savage' or 'brutal.'"

He believes the words could stir racial tensions in the courtroom since the co-defendants are black, the victims white. "Those terms are usually used to stereotype black men and we don't want those types of stereotypes in a court of law," says Roosevelt. "We want the case to be decided, if it's going to be decided, based on the facts and evidence not on terms that my inflame racial tensions."

Johnson and the other three suspects, Anthony Bridges, Bobby Williams, and The store clerks you saw in that video are okay. They were both treated at Sumter Regional Hospital and released the night of the attack.

posted by dave.miller@walb.com

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