Three suspects in custody in Brickyard Pond shootings

By: Jonathan Martin Email
By: Jonathan Martin Email

March 29, 2007

Two men and a woman are in jail after what deputies are calling a robbery turned deadly.

Ronald Banks, Antonio Jones, and Lacy Barnard are charged with murder and aggravated assault.

Richmond County investigators tell us the woman, Barnard, picked up 26-year-old Jose Mochica and 23-year-old Eladio Gonzales from a bar in North Augusta yesterday and drove them to her home near the Brickyard Ponds in east Augusta, off Bobby Jones.

That is where investigators say she and the two other suspects robbed and shot the men multiple times, leaving them for dead near the pond.

Gonzales died, but Mochica survived the gunshot wounds, including one to the head. Even though he was fighting for his life, investigators say he was able to give them enough information to track down the accused killers.

"It is actually a very miraculous story, for a person to survive three gunshot wounds throughout the night and most of the day, and then once discovered by law enforcement, be coherent enough to give a detailed statement of what happened...especially when he sat witnessing his best friend being murdered," said Sgt. Richard Roundtree.

Investigators are not releasing the name of the North Augusta bar where the two men were picked up, but they did tell us they've recovered the weapon: a 12 gauge shotgun.

Jose Mochica is in critical condition, but he is expected to recover.

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