LAWRENCEVILLE -- The district attorney's office will now determine if murder charges will be filed in Gwinnett first homicide of the new year, a bizarre case that may be ruled self defense.
Snellville Police Chief Roy Whitehead said Thursday that his department had "submitted everything" regarding 48-year-old Darrell Johnson's death to the Gwinnett County district attorney's office. It will determine whether or not 21-year-old Derrick Brown will be charged with murder for fatally shooting his girlfriend's father on Jan. 5.
"A determination will be made whether charges are justified and which charges would be appropriate," Whitehead said, "or (if) the matter was a case of self defense."
According to initial police reports, Brown and his girlfriend, Johnson's daughter, were involved in some sort of domestic dispute Jan. 4 at a friend's home on Parkside Court. The female reportedly left after the original incident but returned at about 3 a.m. on Jan. 5 with her father, her mother and a friend.
An altercation allegedly ensued between Brown and Johnson, during which Johnson "struck Mr. Brown with a club several times." The fight was broken up but reportedly resumed when Johnson began hitting Brown with a metal barbell, fracturing his elbow.
Brown then shot Johnson twice. Emergency personnel arrived on scene but were unable to save Johnson, a Covington resident, Whitehead said.
Brown has not been charged, and it's unclear when the district attorney's office may decide if doing so is necessary.
"I don't have a time frame as to how long that might be," Whitehead said.
Inquiries into the original domestic dispute have not been responded to.