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Improper court procedure leads to dismissal of case of Athens man who allegedly shot victim in neck

Sanchez Smith

By Joe Johnson

The case of an Athens man accused of shooting a person in the neck was recently dismissed because proper court procedure had not been followed.

Clarke County Superior Court Judge Lawton Stephens dismissed the case because the District Attorney failed to bring it before a grand jury.

Rather, the criminal case against 38-year-old Sanchez Aaron Smith had been initiated by filing what is called an accusation, which solely uses DA’s information about an alleged crime to initiate a criminal prosecution.

In accordance with court rules, cases involving serious felonies must go to a grand jury so that the panel of citizens can decide whether there was sufficient evidence for the cases to proceed to trial.

According to Athens-Clarke County police, Sanchez shot Rashad Allen, 38 on Feb. 13, 2021 at the Rocksprings Homes apartment complex.

The two men had argued earlier in the day, police said, and when Smith later found the other man sitting in a car at Rocksprings Homes he “just started shooting,” striking Allen in the neck

The victim survived his injuries; Smith was subsequently arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

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