A Clarke County grand jury recently indicted an Athens man for malice and felony murder in connection with a fatal shooting last summer at a College Avenue apartment complex.
Jalen Breon Brown, 21, is also charged with two counts of aggravated assault and one count of possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime for the shooting death of 17-year-old Rayquann Deonte Jernigan, who was known to friends by the chosen name of Ava Le’Ray Barrin, according to the indictment filed last week in Clarke County Superior Court.
On the morning of June 25, Athens-Clarke County police responded to a report of a fight in progress at Riverview Apartments at 1020 College Avenue and found Barrin lying in the parking lot of the complex and not breathing.
Barrin suffered a single gunshot wound to the chest and was pronounced dead at a local hospital, according to police.
Police said Barrin was the victim of a feud between transgender groups.
Brown, who was located by police at the complex soon after the shooting, claimed self-defense, a motive that police discounted.
“It did not hold up because he fired toward the victim prior to the fight, and a fight does not constitute deadly force,” Athens-Clarke County police Capt. Jerry Saulters said.
Brown is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 26 in Clarke County Superior Court.