Several people charged with crimes in Columbia County pled not guilty in an Evans courtroom Friday afternoon.
At the arraignment hearings, three men allegedly involved in a fatal home invasion in February pled not guilty to murder charges.
Leonard Jamal Walton, 18, of Maywood Drive in Martinez; Jose Lopez-Gamero, 21, of North Belair Road in Evans; and Edward Albert Brown III, 19, of Bridgeton Road in Augusta, were indicted on murder, criminal attempt to commit robbery, burglary and simple battery, according to court documents.
The murder charge stems from the fatal shooting of Justine Anthony Stephens, 19, who was a fourth conspirator in the Feb. 29 attempt to rob a Martinez apartment. Authorities say Stephens and Walton forced their way into the apartment, where the homeowner’s 15-year-old son shot Stephens.
Lopez-Gamero and Brown were alleged accomplices who acted as the getaway driver and lookout, respectively.
All three men are being held in the Columbia County Detention Center without bond, according to jail records.
A Hephzibah man also accused of murder for the death of his criminal accomplice pled not guilty to murder charges at the hearing. Anthony Terrell Graddy, 35, of Creekview Drive, pled not guilty to murder, aggravated assault, burglary, criminal attempt to commit a felony, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and by a convicted felon.
Authorities say Graddy and Patrick Smith, 33, entered a home on Blanchard Road in Evans to rob those inside on Feb. 24.
Smith was shot by one of the three men inside the home and was found passed out in the driver’s seat of a GMC Suburban on the side of Blanchard Road. He died the next day from the injuries.
Graddy was later arrested and charged. He’s being in held in the jail without bond, according to jail records.
Yvette Taylor, 47, also pled not guilty to a murder charge at the arraignment hearing. She’s accused of killing 63-year-old Theodore Crew on Feb. 11 inside the apartments they shared. Taylor claimed she left about 1 a.m. and found Crew unresponsive on the bathroom floor about seven hours later.
Neighbors told investigators that they heard loud noises. Taylor’s mother and aunt, with whom Taylor said she’d spent the night, admitted she showed up with a box cutter and bag of bloody clothes. Investigators found those items in a wooded area behind the apartment complex.
Taylor is being held in jail without bond, according to jail records.
A Hephzibah couple accused of stealing more than $100,000 from their employer over six years also pled not guilty at the arraignment. Brian Michael Bagrowski, 38, and Angela Mayberry Bagrowski, 46, both of Parker Road, were charged with racketeering and computer theft. Angela Bagrowski also is charged with four counts of theft.
The pair, who worked for Eye Consultants of Augusta, accepted customer cash payments and later adjusted computer records to reflect payment was made by a group check, according to the indictment. The Bagrowskis kept the cash from the transactions made between September 2005 through December 2011.
Angela Bagrowski also is charged with giving unauthorized discounts, not charging for goods and services, and stealing a pair of sunglasses.
Both are being held in the jail without bond, according to jail records.