Augusta father asks why charges were dropped against son's killers

By: Domonique Benn
By: Domonique Benn

October 20, 2006

One Augusta father wants answers into his son's death. He also wants to know why the two men who killed him are out of jail.

It happened in July at around 11 o'clock at night in the Pepperidge subdivision, on the 2200 block of Ramblewood Drive.

Deputies said it was a robbery and a drug deal that turned violent.

Melvin Harris never thought his son's killers would be out before they even went trial...but Harris says that shocking news came this week.

Harris has worked 31 years for the Richmond County Fire Department.

"I see a lot of tragic things, but it never hits home," he said.

But it finally did hit home when his 21 year old son Marcus was shot and killed back in July, right around the corner from their home.

Melvin happened to be working when the call came in.

"I heard the call go out on my radio that there was a GSW in my neighborhood."

Vincent White and Marcus Martin were arrested and charged with voluntary manslaughter.

Investigators say Martin and White were attempting to deliver drugs to a house on Ramblewood Drive when Marcus Harris tried to rob them.

Now, the district attorney's office says voluntary manslaughter charges against Martin and White are dismissed.

"I feel if I was a prominent black man in this county, they would do more...if I was a middle class white man they would do more," Melvin said.

Harris says investigators didn't do enough. He says he feels it's just another black on black crime lost in the shuffle.

"I personally feel they are overextended themselves," he said. "They don't have enough people to do the job."

And now Melvin is reaching out for answers from the two men he says are responsible for his son's death.

"If they are not guilty, I still want to know. If my son was upside down, if he was wrong, I want to know that too. I need answers."

Vincent White and Marcus Martin were released from jail on Monday. Again, voluntary manslaughter charges against the two are dismissed.

Melvin Harris says he feels there are other people who know details about his son's murder.

If that's the case, that could possibly bring more charges.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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