Valdosta Daily Times

November 7, 2013

Brantley acquitted of murder charge

Convicted of other charges

Adam Floyd
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — A man on trial this week for allegedly killing an accomplice in a botched home invasion was acquitted Wednesday of felony murder charges but convicted on ten other counts.

A jury acquitted Devonte Brantley for the July 7, 2011 death of Christopher Small that was a result of an attempted home invasion perpetrated by Brantley, Small and Alex Parrish. Brantley was accused of firing a gun in the direction of a struggle between Small and a victim of the home invasion. Small suffered a gunshot wound to the head and died in a Tallahassee, Fla. hospital.

Brantley was convicted on every other charge in the case: burglary, two counts of aggravated assault, criminal attempt to commit armed robbery and several felony firearm charges relating to the possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime. Brantley was also convicted of the possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, a charge that was separated from the others.

Parrish offered testimony for the prosecution during the trial.

The jury deliberated for two and a half hours before returning their verdict on the first 11 counts but took only ten minutes to come to a decision about the separate charge of the possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Sentencing in the case will be handed down Dec. 16. Brantley faces one to twenty years in jail for burglary, one to twenty years for each count of aggravated assault, one to thirty years for criminal attempt to commit armed robbery and five consecutive years for each firearm charge. The conviction of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon could come with another five years, according to Assistant Southern District Attorney Brad Shealy

Brantley was offered a plea agreement by the prosecution of 10 years in jail followed by three years of probation for voluntary manslaughter, but he rejected it.