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Investigator describes jealousy as possible motive in apartment shooting

Police say man shot woman after confronting her over number found in her phone

POSTED: September 4, 2014 12:33 p.m.

Antwan Earls, left, listens Thursday morning during his probable cause hearing in Hall County Magistrate Court. Earls is accused of shooting two women and is charged with aggravated assault.

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The suspect in the Atlanta Street Apartments shooting last month may have become upset over possible infidelity, a Gainesville police investigator said Thursday morning.

Antwan Xavier Earls, 24,  appeared in Hall County Magistrate Court for a probable cause hearing. He is accused of shooting Sheena Mattox, 28, and Angelene Hall, 25, both of Gainesville, on Aug. 15. An investigator for the Gainesville police, Margaret Ashby, was questioned and cross-examined by legal counsel, with the case moving on to Superior Court.

The shooting, Ashby said, came as a result of an argument between Hall and Earls, who were in a relationship. After Earls found a phone number on Hall’s phone and suspected her of infidelity, the two yelled at each other through Mattox’s front screen door.

“He reached into a bag with (a design of) $100 bills ... as a print and grabbed a black and silver handgun,” Ashby said.

Earls then allegedly shot three times, one bullet grazing Hall’s breast and another striking Mattox in the shoulder. Three casings were found at the scene.

“Sheena thought she was going to die,” Ashby said.

Mattox bled profusely after the bullet struck her brachial artery, a major blood vessel in the upper arm.

The handgun and a backpack with a $100 bill print design was found on the roof of the South Bradford Street Self Storage, adjacent to the First Congregational Holiness Church, Ashby said. Earls allegedly then broke through the glass window of the church to escape.

Blood found at the church was sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations’ crime lab for testing. When Earls was apprehended by the Hall County Sheriff’s Office within the hour after the shooting, he appeared to have a covering of some sort on his right arm and blood stains on his boxer shorts.

In court Thursday, Earls had a blue bandage on his right arm.

Earls was originally charged with two counts of aggravated assault when booked into Hall County Jail.

The next week, more charges were added, including violation of conditional bond order, possession of a gun by a felon, possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime, aggravated assault (family violence act) and second-degree burglary.

In a motion by Earls’ public defender Larry Duttweiler, the burglary charge was lessened to a criminal trespass charge.

On May 6, Earls is accused of slapping Hall and grabbing her hair, as well as cutting her tires and breaking her window. Earls was charged with simple battery (family violence) and criminal trespass in that incident. The next day, Earls was released on bond, with a condition that he  would not have any contact with Hall.

Earls pleaded not guilty on June 25 to the simple battery and criminal trespass charges.


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