Herman Lee Smith, 20, allegedly shot Cardarius Steagall multiple times in the upper torso at an establishment referred to as Club 100 in Bowdon. Steagall died on the scene.
The defendant, represented by public defender Harry Daniels, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to five offenses in his arraignment: malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and carrying a concealed weapon.
Smith had a trial date set for Feb. 11, with Daniels requesting “leave to continue,” meaning the case will likely be continued to a later date.
The man was denied bond by Simpson in November, though Daniels said his client acted “completely in self-defense.” The prosecution, which opposed the bond motion, disagreed.
“He ran away from the scene and lied to investigators when he returned,” Assistant District Attorney John Cunningham said. “It was only when he came back with his attorney that he started saying he did it in self-defense.”
Daniels said the defense intends to prove that Steagall had a gun on him and that Smith was acting only to protect himself and others, saying evidence and testimony from witnesses will support that claim.
The two men, along with up to 100 other people, were attending a party at a building on the 3600 block of Highway 100 in Carroll County, just north of Ephesus.
No one else was injured in the incident, police said.
In unrelated cases, two vehicular homicide suspects were arraigned Thursday:
• Luis Alonzo Castellano-Mejie, 38, of Carrollton was originally charged with serious injury by vehicle for the November accident in which a pedestrian was struck. But when the pedestrian died two weeks after the accident, Castellano-Mejie’s charges were upgraded.
The defendant has been indicted on charges of homicide by vehicle and driving under the influence. He pleading not guilty Thursday in front of Judge Dennis Blackmon and given a trial date of May 20.
Castellano-Mejie, represented by public defender Valerie Cooke, is accused of killing 39-year-old Bobby Lamar Daniel of Winston, who was working in a grassy area alongside Bankhead Highway near Almon Road on Nov. 9 when he was hit by a vehicle between 9:30 and 10 p.m.
The defendant was granted a $15,000 bond, but was still incarcerated as of Thursday.
• Andrew Alan Bryant, 21, of Bremen has been accused of causing a crash that led to the death of one of his passengers in June 2012.
Bryant has been indicted on charges of homicide by vehicle, DUI and failure to maintain lane.
Represented by public defender John Howe, Bryant pleaded not guilty Thursday in his arraignment and was given a May 20 trial date.
The accident, which occurred in Temple on Rainey Road, killed Derek Dewberry, 21, of Bremen last June. Also injured in the crash was Bryant himself and another passenger, 25-year-old Tammy Athey.
The Georgia State Patrol reported the vehicle was driving on Rainey Road around 9:10 p.m. when it left the road, crossed over a driveway, hit two mailboxes and then overturned. All three occupants were ejected from the Ford Mustang convertible.
The state patrol also reported that seat belts were not in use by any of the three occupants and that blood was drawn to test for alcohol.
Bryant is currently out of jail on bond. He was joined in court Thursday by five family members and friends.