Questions swirl around shooting suspect in murder of 8-year-old girl

Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 6:33 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Should the man accused of pulling the trigger, killing 8-year-old Arbrie Anthony have been walking free in the first place?

That is the question many people are wondering about just one day after Anthony was laid to rest.

Antoine Redfield, 21, is in Richmond County jail, charged with the murder of 8-year-old Arbrie Anthony.

We now know, her life is not the first he’s been accused of taking.

On Wednesday, the Augusta district attorney dropped charges against Antoine Redfield from a 2019 shooting that left two people dead. The DA said there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute him in that case. Now he’s accused of shooting and killing Arbrie.

“And you got guys that the system is letting off that done did gun violence charges. Let them out free,” said Jamila McDaniel, the girl’s aunt.

In March of 2020, Redfield was indicted on two counts of felony murder, two gun charges, aggravated assault, and fleeing police from a shooting at The private I nightclub in December 2019.

District Attorney Jared Williams says: “It was a chaotic gunfight at a nightclub between four gang members two of whom died. The lead investigator testified that he could not determine who shot first.”

Former Augusta DA Natalie Paine responded by saying: “My position was always that the jury of the defendant’s peers should decide the fate of the accused.”

She also gives more context.

“First offenders and convicted felons are prohibited from possessing firearms in this state. Additionally, gang members engaging in a shoot-out in the parking lot of a public establishment most certainly constitutes a violation of the criminal street gang activity.”

We reached out to the office of Williams for comment: “There is nothing in Ms. Paine’s statement that warrants comment from the district attorney.”

In 2020, the DA told News 12 he aimed to focus on first-time offenders and crack down on violent crimes.

“We can prevent crime by reducing or by preventing repeat offenders and that’s what we want to do,” said Williams.

We found Redfield’s criminal history dates back at least to 2018 with charges for possession of an article with altered identification, possession of a firearm during a commission of a crime in 2019, and possession of oxycodone. All charges are felonies.

When we spoke with McDaniel, she was concerned about why the suspects were not already behind bars.

“And these three suspects that they supposed to caught, one had just been arrested. Why is he released? Why? Tell me why? Now that’s where the system failed my brother, that’s where the system failed this community,” she said.

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