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Investigator: Drug deal cost a man his eye in shooting
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Richard Brian Sosebee, left, talks with attorney Larry Duttweiler Monday morning in Hall County Magistrate Court during his committal hearing for charges of aggravated battery and armed robbery. Two other men are also charged in the same armed robbery that cost a man his eye, according to police.

A bullet entering the victim’s eye during an alleged drug deal exploded and was lodged in his head, according to a Gainesville Police investigator.

Johnathan William Owens, 27, of Gillsville, and Richard Brian Sosebee, 41, of Lula, appeared in Magistrate Court Monday to answer to charges of aggravated battery and armed robbery. A third co-defendant, Evan Edsel Dorsey, 26, of Buford, had his case continued to a later date.

Investigator Brad Raper took the stand Monday about responding to a drive-by shooting report Oct. 29 at Harrison Square in Gainesville.

Patrol units had encountered a pair of suspects and a “very extensive car chase had ensued … well out into the county,” Raper said.

Traveling to Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Raper said he spoke with the doctor about the victim’s gunshot wound.

“The bullet … had entered into the eye of the victim and had basically exploded the eye,” he said.

Raper said there was “no evidence” at the scene of it being a drive-by shooting.

Multiple law enforcement units followed the suspect’s car as it entered the woodline in the Harmony Church Road area.

“The vehicle came to rest after it ran over a tire and locked the axle down. The two subjects bailed out and then ran through the woods,” Raper said.

Dorsey is accused of driving to and from the alleged crime scene, and Sosebee is the alleged passenger.

Dorsey was read his Miranda rights and told his version of events, Raper said.

“He would admit they were there to buy dope,” the investigator said.

Owens allegedly facilitated the drug deal for Dorsey and Sosebee with the victim, who got in the car with the co-defendants, according to testimony.

“Once he got into the vehicle, Dorsey advised that (Sosebee) pulled out the gun and told him to give him everything he had, and that the shooting actually happened in the vehicle,” Raper said.

According to the warrants, the victim had $500 taken from him.

The gun was thrown out of the window when the suspects’ car was ahead of pursuing units, according to testimony.

Authorities used a specialized K-9 unit for tracking firearms from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“Had we not had the dog, we probably would have never found the gun,” Raper said.

Owens’ attorney Blake Poole cross-examined Raper on what his client knew leading up to the alleged shooting. The investigator said he was unaware of any plan to rob the victim.

Sosebee’s attorney Larry Duttweiler questioned the investigator on the parameters of the alleged drug deal, considering the fact that little money was found in the car.

Poole argued for the aggravated battery and armed robbery charges to be dismissed for Owens.

“The fact that he aided and abetted a drug deal does not create some liability for an armed robbery,” the attorney said.

The case moved on as charged to Superior Court.

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