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Man accused in Athens nightclub shooting

Updated: Jan 20, 2020

Nathan Benford

By Joe Johnson

An accusation was recently filed in Clarke County Court accusing a man who was in connection with an Athens nightclub shooting more than two years ago.

Nathen Demetrice Benford, 28 was arrested in March 2018 by Athens-Clarke County police on charges of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime in connection with a shooting that occurred Oct.1, 2017 at Club Venom on Commerce Road in which three people were injured, one seriously.

A man was shot once in the chest and another man's shoulder was grazed by a bullet during the shooting, according to police, who said that a third man was injured when he fell and was trampled amid the ensuing mayhem.

However, police did not say at the time whether Benford, a resident of Decatur, had fired a gun in the incident. He was subsequently released on a $7,350 surety bond, according to court records.

Last week, on Jan.16, Western Judicial Circuit District Attorney Ken Mauldin filed an accusation in Clarke County Court that charges Benford not with aggravated assault, but with reckless conduct for endangering others “by consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk that his carrying a loaded firearm would endanger the safety” of other people.

The accusation also accuses Benford with affray for fighting at the nightclub and with obstruction, for disobeying commands of police officers.

Benford’s arraignment had not been scheduled as of Monday.

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