COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL)— Wednesday morning, a Columbus teen entered a guilty plea in the shooting death of a man in a strip club parking lot.
Police said a group of five teenagers were allegedly breaking into cars in the Foxy Lady Lounge parking lot off Victory Drive in 2020.
Raymond Richmond, 17, was just 14 years old when police say he broke into Samuel London’s car parked outside of the establishment.
Here’s how Christopher George, the prosecuting attorney with the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, described the altercation to Superior Court Judge John Martin:
“On June 11, 2020, the facts will show this case was called to trial in Muscogee County, Georgia. The victim, Mr. Samuel London, was a patron of the Foxy Lady Lounge, and around 2:14 in the morning the defendant, Mr. Richmond, was outside of the lounge attempting to enter automobiles. The defendant removed his white shirt he was using to cover his hands while he tried to open the doors of parked vehicles. The last vehicle he came to was the one used by Mr. London, a 2019 Jeep Compass. The defendant entered the vehicle through the driver door, attempting to steal items… Mr. London exited the lounge and found the defendant in his car. Mr. London pulled the defendant out of his vehicle; a physical altercation began between the two men. The two fell to the ground, the defendant landed on top of Mr. London. During the altercation a small handgun the defendant brought with him fired striking Mr. London in the abdomen. After Mr. London was shot, the defendant jumped up and fled the scene. This was a very quick altercation judge; it was a matter of seconds.”Christopher George, the prosecuting attorney with the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia
Richmond’s public defender Steve Craft says it is still unknown if Richmond fired the gun or if the gun discharged during the altercation.
“I think there was a struggle and it’s still not clear exactly how the gun came to be discharged. But I believe that the timing of it all, because it escalated so quickly, and that I don’t think that it was an intentional shooting,” Craft said. “Now, whether that occurred when there was an indirect struggle for the gun or whether it discharged is not clear, and I don’t think it ever will be.”
Wednesday morning, Richmond entered a guilty plea to the following charges:
- voluntary manslaughter, ordered to serve 20 years
- entering an automobile, ordered to serve five years on probation
- possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, ordered to serve five years
All sentencings are to be served concurrently, or at the same time totaling 30 years, 22 of which to serve in prison. Richmond has served three years in confinement, which he gets credit for, landing him out of jail before he turns 35.
Richmond rejected a pre-arranged plea deal in March. If he would have taken that plea deal, the possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime charge would have been dismissed. Originally, Richmond was facing murder charges which requires a life sentence in the state of Georgia.
“In the end, he only received slightly different than what he would have received in that original plea. I think that establishes that it was the right thing because the judge had the opportunity to do different,” Craft said. “But I think after hearing everything that justifies the original agreement that we had.”
There are five co-defendants, including Richmond, charged with murder in London’s death. The other co-defendants have not entered any pleas at this time.