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Charges bound over in man's killing

LAWRENCEVILLE - Charges against an Atlanta man accused in the home invasion killing of a Lilburn convenience store owner were bound over to Superior Court Thursday.

During the 8:30 a.m. hearing, Judge Bob Mitchum found probable cause to go forward with felony murder and burglary charges against 20-year-old Demarcus Crawford.

Two of Crawford's co-defendants, Marshae Brooks of Riverdale and Loran Araya of Atlanta, are awaiting trial. Quincy Jackson, of Riverdale, is currently standing trial on 17 charges including felony murder, burglary and kidnapping with bodily injury.

Police believe that on March 25, 2008, Crawford and his accomplices broke into the Kenion Forest Drive home of Tedla Lemma, 51, and hog-tied and beat the disabled man. Lemma, a native Ethiopian, was gagged so tightly, police said, he suffocated. Investigators have said the suspects never intended to kill Lemma, who had been paralyzed after being shot in the head during a robbery several years ago, and found out about his death from news reports.

Police believe at least some of the suspects had burglarized Lemma's home just four months earlier, making off with $54,000 in cash. In the fatal invasion, robbers netted two flat-screen televisions, some jewelry and a jar of coins.

Crawford, who is also wanted on outstanding warrants in DeKalb County and College Park, was arrested April 8.

Crawford's exact alleged involvement in the incident unclear, but investigators said cell phone records link all four men to the scene.

Crawford is being held without bond at the Gwinnett County Jail. He is represented by attorney Hillary Krepistman.