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Jury to decide attempted armed robbery, shooting case
Man accused of 2013 shooting
Ronta Garner
Ronta Antonio Garner

The prosecution and defense closed Wednesday in the case of a Lawrenceville man charged with attempted armed robbery and shooting a man in the side.

Ronta Antonio Garner, 33, of Lawrenceville, is charged with attempted armed robbery and aggravated assault among other charges for an alleged incident in Gainesville. He is being tried separately from co-defendant Shamarcus Grimes of Lawrenceville.

Assistant public defenders Matt Leipold and David Hoffer joined Garner at the defense table in Superior Court Judge Andrew Fuller’s courtroom Wednesday.

According to the indictment, Garner and Grimes are accused of entering the apartment of Brittney Al-Mosri and holding her at gunpoint  Oct. 30, 2013. That same day, Garner and Grimes are accused of aggravated assault, as Quavis Carruth was shot in the side and his hand.

Leipold argued while the jury took a break that in terms of the charges for attempted armed robbery and aggravated assault was that Garner didn’t have a weapon.

The community, Leipold said, in which the alleged incident took place was tight-knit, and Garner “didn’t have any friends to back him up.”

“He knows he’s going to be blamed for this,” Leipold said.

After the prosecution rested at 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, Garner declined to testify.

During closing arguments, Leipold gestured toward a chart regarding reasonable doubt and asked the jury to separate alleged wrongdoing between Garner and Grimes.

One such example given was during the alleged attempted armed robbery.

“(Al-Mosri’s) version, if you believe it, is that (Garner) stayed in the living room with her daughter,” Leipold said.

Leipold also told the jury about multiple witnesses’ criminal convictions and how it might affect their credibility.

Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Bagwell argued that Grimes and Garner were parties to the crimes alleged in the indictment. Though not bank presidents nor preachers, Bagwell said, the witnesses brought forward for testimony represent different vantage points to the alleged incident.

“They all make up different pieces of the puzzle,” Bagwell said.

Fuller informed the jury to return at 8:30 a.m. today to hear the jury instructions and enter into deliberation.

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