Suspect in teen's sneaker-driven robbery, murder asking for bond

Achiel Morgan

Achiel Morgan

LAWRENCEVILLE — Bond has been requested for one suspect in the Dec. 2012 robbery and murder of a Grayson teenager.

A bond hearing has been scheduled on behalf of 15-year-old Achiel Morgan, one of six defendants facing various charges connected to the death of 14-year-old Paul Sampleton Jr. Morgan, who is being housed at the Gwinnett County Regional Youth Detention Center, has been charged with armed robbery, burglary, conspiracy to commit robbery and criminal gang activity in the case. He has not been charged with murder.

In a recent filing, attorney Maryann Blend asked Judge Debra Turner to “set a reasonable bond” for her client, arguing that Morgan has no prior criminal record and is not a flight risk or a threat to the community.

The issue will be addressed during a hearing on Feb. 13.

“Neither defendant nor his family has substantial resources available to make bond,” Blend’s motion said. “However, should Defendant make bond it is his intention to exercise all possible legal defenses and make all scheduled court appearances.”

Sampleton Jr. was tied up, shot and killed inside his mother’s Grayson townhome on Dec. 19, 2012, the believed product of a robbery targeting his high-end sneakers, clothes and electronics. Morgan and two Grayson High School classmates — 15-year-old Larnell Sillah and 18-year-old Romaine Stewart — are accused of plotting the crime on a school bus.

Sillah, his uncle Andrew Murray and another older man, Tavaughn Saylor, are the only suspects charged with murder in the case.

Anthony Lamar English, a Norcross man accused of purchasing goods stolen from Sampleton’s home, was included in indictments and is also scheduled for a bond hearing on Feb. 13.

The district attorney’s office has said a trial in the case won’t happen “until later in 2014” because Murray and Saylor, tracked down in Connecticut and New York, respectively, will be prosecuted on other charges first.