Murder trial to get under way Monday

LAWRENCEVILLE - Prosecutors say Sabon Allen Julius gunned down a Jonesboro man during a 2006 drug deal gone awry in a Snellville McDonald's parking lot.

A Gwinnett County Superior Court jury will hear both sides of the story beginning next week.

Jury selection begins Monday in 19-year-old Julius' murder trail, said Assistant District Attorney Rich Vandever. Julius is accused of shooting Adler Jerry Benoit, 20, to death in September 2006.

Julius faces charges of murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. If convicted, he could face life in prison.

Vandever said the trial should be concluded by Friday.

Police said Benoit was shot as he drove through the parking lot of a McDonald's restaurant at Ga. Highway 124 and Centerville Road. He apparently stomped on his gas peddle and tore through bushes at the restaurant, a Huddle House parking lot next door and through more shrubs at a nearby Goodyear tires store parking lot, where the vehicle hit a garage and stopped, police said at the time.

Witnesses told police two young black men then jumped out of the vehicle and ran.

Benoit was shot an unspecified number of times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators said the suspects likely met Benoit in Snellville for an illegal transaction of some sort.

Police said tracking dogs and police helicopters were summoned to search for the two suspects, but the dogs lost a scent a short distance from the crime scene.

Vandever said Julius is the lone defendant in the case.

The suspect was arrested in the early morning hours of Sept. 9. He has remained in the Gwinnett County Jail since without bond.