Roudolphe Germain Jr. pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, followed by five years of probation.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Jeff Hunt said Germain did not make a statement during the plea, which was moved to Troup County to fit Judge Dennis Blackmon’s schedule.
Germain’s two co-defendants, Egim Chris Etta-Tawo and Evan Donard Winston, had their cases continued to February on Monday, since Blackmon, the judge hearing the cases, is still in LaGrange.
Hunt said Blackmon is tied up in the trial of LaGrange television station owner Peter Mallory, who was arrested on charges involving child pornography. Since the trial was still ongoing during Monday’s first day of jury trials, Judge Bill Hamrick covered for Blackmon, taking pleas and granting continuances.
Hunt said Germain’s guilty plea shouldn’t effect the co-defendants’ cases, and that the two would be going to a jury trial, as far as he knew.
The trial for Winston, represented by Decatur attorney Mawuli Davis, is set to start on Feb. 25.
Etta-Tawo was scheduled to appear on two separate cases — possession and distribution or marijuana, as well as felony murder in what has been described as a “drug deal gone bad.”
Winston was indicted last October for the murder of 21-year-old Kevin Woods on charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, conspiracy to violate the Georgia Controlled Substances Act and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
In the original incident report filed, Carrollton Police Department Officer Brandon Wilson reported finding the victim dead in a Dodge Charger in the parking lot of Chateau Apartments on Hay’s Mill Road at approximately 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 2, 2011, shortly after the shooting occurred.
According to Inv. Chad Taylor, it is currently the belief of police that Etta-Tawo had set up a marijuana deal between the victim and the other two suspects, which ended with Woods’ death. Winston and Germain reportedly drove off in a 1999 Toyota Camry.
Also continued Monday were the cases of two men accused of armed robbery.
Christopher Demond Almon and Thomas Arnold Kidd were arrested by Carrollton police in January for armed robbery, aggravated assault and giving police false information.
Villa Rica attorney Mac Pilgrim told Hamrick he would be “ready when reached,” at which time Hamrick told the lawyer that no jury trials would be held this week, as the jury had been notified not to come in because of Blackmon’s absence. The cases were continued to Feb. 25, to be heard by Judge Jack Kirby.
Capt. Chris Dobbs of CPD said the two men were arrested at Chateau Apartments after officers traced cell phone calls made to local pizzerias back to a residence where they were located. The suspects had allegedly called for deliveries then robbed the delivery workers at gunpoint when they arrived.