Warrant says purported Athens drug dealer flush with cash when gunned down

Clinton Tyrell Patterson was flush with cash from having just made a “substantial” drug deal prior to being gunned down five months ago outside his home at North Grove Apartments, according to court documents filed this week.

 

Less than two hours prior to being gunned down during an attempted robbery, he had sold 150 pills, including Percocets and Lortabs, for $3,000, according to an arrest warrant filed Monday in Clarke County Superior Court stated.

The 34-year-old victim, who suffered at least two gunshot wounds the night of Dec. 21, died in the hospital less than two weeks later, on New Year’s Day.

Charged with Patterson’s murder are Readale Michael Thomas and Danny Louis Sims Jr.

Patterson’s drug-dealing activities came to light in an investigator’s affidavit in support of a warrant to search phone records of a woman who was with Patterson when he was shot.

Friends and family members had told police that the woman, who is the mother of Patterson’s child but did not live with the victim, had set up Patterson to be robbed, according to the affidavit filed Tuesday in Clarke County Superior Court.

The investigation additionally discovered that Patterson was friends with a man who drove Thomas and Sims to North Grove only moments prior to the fatal shooting.

Police said Wednesday they were unable to find evidence proving that the woman had set up the attempted robbery, and that no one else will be charged in connection with Patterson’s death.

According to the affidavit, Thomas was identified as the trigger man in the fatal shooting.

As Patterson walked with his child’s mother toward his apartment, they were confronted in the breezeway of the victim’s building by Sims and Thomas, who was pointing a gun toward the couple, the affidavit stated.

When Patterson turned and ran, Thomas reportedly chased after while firing his weapon, striking the victim at least two times, the affidavit stated.

The woman who was with Patterson ran in the opposite direction, and police said when they arrived at the scene she was cowering behind an air-conditioning unit.

Sims was arrested in Athens a week after Patterson succumbed to his wounds in the hospital on Jan. 1.

Police said they received a tip that Thomas had fled the state and was staying at a house in Duval County, Florida. Athens police coordinated with the local sheriff’s office and Duval County deputies took Thomas into custody and later extradited him.

The two suspects were indicted last month by a Clarke County grand jury on multiple felony counts, including malice and felony murder, aggravated assault and criminal attempt to commit armed robbery.

Follow Criminal Justice reporter Joe Johnson at www.facebook.com/JoeJohnsonABH or www.twitter.com/JoeJohnsonABH.

 

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