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Testimony: Oxycontin fueled burglary, killing

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A hankering for the prescription painkiller Oxycontin led two men to burglarize a Lawrenceville apartment and consequently shoot an innocent man who'd stumbled upon the crime, a detective testified Friday.

Steven Green, 28, of Lawrenceville, and Isaac Sandoval, 22, of Gainesville, spent the afternoon of Oct. 2 in search of prescription medications. As a fallback, they conspired to burglarize the apartment of Shyrome Marshall, a longtime acquaintance of Green's who'd dealt him pills before, Lawrenceville police Detective C. Zellous testified in Green's probable cause hearing.

Things got harrowing when Marshall came home from running an errand about 9:30 p.m., a toddler in his arms and his friend, Anthony Augustus, in tow. No sooner had Marshall put the child down on the floor when he felt a gun barrel to his head, the apartment still dark. A voice he recognized as Green's said: "Give me the money, you know what this is," Zellous testified.

Marshall latched onto the weapon and fell to the floor, struggling with his would-be robber. He told police he was pistol-whipped several times but managed to break free, running to a nearby apartment for help, Zellous testified.

Left behind in the mix with the child, Augustus was hit once in the waist area when the gun discharged or was fired at him. He stumbled about 300 feet, collapsed in a front yard and threw leaves and sticks to get the tenant's attention. He asked the man inside to call 911.

"Anthony could not or would not say anything else after that," Zellous testified.

Witnesses reported seeing Sandoval's Ford F-250 "laying drag" out of the Cedargate Apartment, a complex off Longleaf Drive. The child was not injured in the fracas.

Police arrested Sandoval two days after Marshall led them to Green. Both are charged with murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault and weapons possession during the commission of a crime.

Augustus, 24, later died at Gwinnett Medical Center. Marshall was treated and released from hospital care.

Police have said Augustus was merely giving his friend a ride that night, and nothing has implicated him as being involved in the drug trade.

Green and Sandoval both initially denied involvement in the shooting but, after pressing from investigators, admitted to being at the scene. Each man pointed a finger at the other as the only one who went in the apartment. No weapon has been recovered, Zellous said.

A Gwinnett magistrate on Friday bound all charges against Green to Superior Court.

Green and Sandoval remain at the Gwinnett County Jail without bond. The detective said Sandoval is slated for a probable cause hearing next week.