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Witnesses detail man's final hours before drug death in murder trial
Coroner: 19-year-old died from drug complications
Jacob Scarborough, right, and attorney Christopher Chapman sit through opening statements Monday afternoon in Hall County Superior Court. Scarborough his charged with felony murder in the death of Austin Brantley, 19, of Flowery Branch on May 9, 2013.

A Flowery Branch man’s desire to try LSD ended in his 2013 death, according to testimony Monday.

Austin Brantley, 19, of Flowery Branch died of “complications of methylone,” according to Hall County Coroner Marion Merck. Jacob Chance Scarborough faces charges of felony murder, distribution of methylone and involuntary manslaughter.

Opening statements kicked off Monday afternoon in the trial of Brantley’s May 9, 2013, death in Hall County.

“There is no connection whatsoever between what was located in Austin Brantley’s system and the alleged conduct of my client,” defense attorney Christopher Chapman said.

Chapman said the the first lab test for methylone was negative because it was below the test’s threshold. The attorney claimed Brantley’s friends turned in Scarborough as a way of “trying to desperately get out of trouble.”

Assistant District Attorney Bill Akins brought Juno Peterka as his first witness to the stand. Peterka claimed he had previously purchased ecstasy from Scarborough and contacted the defendant again to purchase LSD.

Peterka testified that Brantley was interested in trying hallucinogenic drugs and borrowed money from a friend.

After Brantley took a hit, Peterka said Brantley reacted quicker than expected with the drug and became more agitated than usual.

“He started to speak fast and started to yell. It just wasn’t normal for me and what I’ve seen before,” he said.

Peterka said he and his friends unintentionally locked themselves out of the house, and they intended to return.

Upon return, the friends found Brantley on the floor.

Akins and Chapman questioned Peterka on his honesty to police. The witness testified he had originally kept friends out of his account to police to keep them out of trouble and broken a cellphone used to set up the deal.

The court adjourned just before 5 p.m. Monday and will start again at 9 a.m. today.

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