2 charged in murder previously deemed self defense

Robert Carpenter

Robert Carpenter

LAWRENCEVILLE -- The killing of 22-year-old Rashad Jones, shot dead outside a Lawrenceville neighborhood in October, may not have been self defense after all.

Gwinnett County police recently issued arrest warrants charging two young men with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit a felony in connection with Jones' death on Oct. 16. One of them, 19-year-old Robert Earl Carpenter of Lawrenceville, was arrested Tuesday.

The other, a 20-year-old with an address listed in North Charleston, S.C., was not in Gwinnett custody as of Wednesday afternoon. Warrants for his arrest were still listed as active.

The charges come as a surprise after police had previously deemed the shooting self defense.

Gwinnett police were originally called to the scene near the tennis courts of the Riverstone subdivision -- near Bridge Walk Drive and Oak Road -- following a report of shots fired on Oct. 16. They found Jones' body and said, at the time, that the motive behind the shooting "may be some type of ripoff involving a scam."

About five days later, a police spokesman said the shooting had been deemed self defense and no charges would be filed. Jones had been in possession of an unloaded gun, the spokesman added.

A new incident report filed Nov. 26, however, said warrants were issued for Carpenter and 20-year-old Evans Jerrell Barnes "after additional investigation." It was unclear what specific evidence may have changed the minds of investigators, but the warrants themselves provided some insight into the incident.

According to documents, Carpenter and Barnes contacted a female victim and told her to "meet him at the place she was to be robbed at."

It was not clarified how Jones then became involved, but warrants said he was "shot and killed during the robbery."

Jail records show Jones did not live in the Riverstone subdivision, but did reside nearby. Neither suspect lived in the neighborhood either.