By Joe Johnson
Murder charges were dropped in the case of an Athens man who was involved in a deadly armed robbery three years ago at an eastside apartment complex.
On Wednesday, 31-year-old Martin Borja Garcia entered into a plea agreement with the Western Judicial Circuit District Attorney Office in which murder charges were dropped in return for him pleading guilty to aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, according to the agreement that was filed in Clarke County Superior Court.
In accordance with the plea deal Judge H. Patrick Haggard sentenced Garcia to five years in prison and five years on probation.
The agreement alson stipulates that Garcia must testify truthfully against his cousin, David Rojas Garcia, who Athens-Clarke County police said was the triggerman in the shooting death of 21-year-old Saheed Rakkel Snow at the Nellie B Homes apartment complex on June 14, 2018.
According to police affidavits, David Garcia said he and his cousin went to Nellie B Homes to sell a handgun to Snow.
After Snow got into a car with the cousins, David Garcia reportedly told police, Snow tried to steal the gun and Martin Garcia’s wallet, so David Garcia shot Snow in self-defense.
However, police said an investigation determined that David Garcia shot Snow during an armed robbery. They would not disclose any evidence that led to both Garcias being charged with malice and felony murder for the Snow’s death.
When officers arrived at Nellie B Homes to investigate a reported shooting, they found Snow lying in a parking lot with multiple gunshot wounds. He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Witnesses told police Snow entered a car occupied by what appeared to be two Hispanic males. The witnesses said Snow was shot while inside the car and one of the occupants pulled him out and left him lying in the parking lot, according to police.
A trial date for David Garcia had yet to be scheduled as of Thursday.