4 indicted in Mableton man’s death
by Rachel Miller
September 20, 2013 10:44 AM | 13202 views | 13 13 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
36 year-old Joshua Chellew was the victim of a violent attack on Mableton Parkway on Sunday, June 30. Chellew was allegedly beaten and pushed into traffic by four alleged gang members.
36 year-old Joshua Chellew was the victim of a violent attack on Mableton Parkway on Sunday, June 30. Chellew was allegedly beaten and pushed into traffic by four alleged gang members.
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MARIETTA — A Cobb grand jury indicted four young men Thursday on murder charges stemming from the allegedly gang-related beating death of a Mableton man June 30.

Johnathan Anthony, 18, Kemonta Bonds, 21, and Antonio Pass, 19, all of Mableton, and Jekari Strozier, 20, of Austell, were charged with malice murder, six counts of felony murder, aggravated assault and aggravated battery in the beating death of Joshua Chellew, 36.

The case caught the attention of conservative media pundits such as Rush Limbaugh, who cited it as a possibly racially motivated killing of a white man by four black youths and questioned why it didn’t get national media attention at a time when the George Zimmerman trial was getting nonstop national coverage with heavy racial overtones.

Jesse Evans, the deputy chief assistant district attorney who is prosecuting the case, said he was not surprised the grand jury approved all the initial charges based on the evidence.

Prosecutors believe Chellew was beaten and stomped on during the early morning of June 30 at a Chevron station at 6211 Mableton Parkway, a mile south of Veterans Memorial Highway.

Chellew then ran into the five-lane highway in an attempt to escape, was allegedly knocked unconscious by the group of young men and was later hit by a car, according to arrest warrants

The grand jury also indicted the suspects on four counts for violating the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act. Prosecutors have said the men are members of the Re-Up group and that social media websites like Twitter had photos associating them with the group.

If convicted of all charges, the four defendants could each be sentenced to life in prison, but the death penalty is not an option, according to Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds.

Reynolds said the death penalty is only for certain aggravated circumstances, like an armed robbery resulting in a death or the killing of multiple people.

A goal of the District Attorney’s office is to push the state Legislature to have any gang-related activity resulting in a murder to be punishable by the death penalty, Reynolds said.

All four of the suspects have been held without bond at Cobb County jail since July 2.

There will be an arraignment, where the defendants will have a chance to enter their pleas, within the next two or three weeks, Evans said.

Evans said he is ready to move forward, but because there are multiple co-defendants, it is hard to predict when the case will go to trial.

Facts of the case as reported

The men are accused of starting a fight with Chellew in the parking lot of the Chevron station at about 1:20 a.m., punching, hitting and kicking him.

As Chellew attempted to escape, he backed into the center of the nearby five-lane highway, but the teenagers reportedly continued to push him to the ground where he was beaten until he was unconscious, according to arrest warrants.

Chellew was hit by a driver on Mableton Parkway who originally fled the scene, according to police, but later turned himself in. He was not charged because the hit-and-run was ruled an accident.

Witnesses on the scene told police that “at no time did (the four teens) attempt to aid (Chellew), or to stop the approaching vehicle,” the warrant states.

After Chellew was struck by the passing car, the four young men reportedly walked away, “leaving him helpless.”

Comments
(13)
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Cobb county guy
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October 12, 2013
I met the dude that got killed at the gas station he got killed at. He didnt look nothing like this picture. He just got out of prison and looked as if he abused crack. Bet he provoked these kids or owed them money. Funny how the news twists stories.
visigoth
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September 22, 2013
What happened with the assertions in the arrest warrants that Chellew was a Crip!? Yeah, got what he had comin' from these obvious Bloods. I don't see how the death penalty could apply here. Clearly it was a case of Justified Whooopppaaazzzz.
phat tony
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September 20, 2013
We need more lynchings in cobb county
Joyce Oscar
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September 20, 2013
that's a stupid comment...
Cobb Resident
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September 20, 2013
Why focus on gun laws, when there have savages like this that use their bare hands, and feet to kill folks. Bad people are just bad to the bone, no excuses - no defense
Kennesaw Resident
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December 11, 2013
Why, I never knew that a car inattentively driven by someone else at 1AM was classified as your "bare hands and feet".

No excuses for what happened here either, but I say involuntary manslaughter & assault at the most.

Where's the driver?

How come it was initially a hit & run then later changed to murder?

Was he intoxicated?

Questions questions questions
Kennesaw Resident
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December 11, 2013
Why, I never knew that a car inattentively driven by someone else at 1AM was classified as your "bare hands and feet".

No excuses for what happened here either, but I say involuntary manslaughter & assault at the most.

Where's the driver?

How come it was initially a hit & run then later changed to murder?

Was he intoxicated?

Questions questions questions
anonymous
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September 20, 2013
Rather than life, let's beat and stomp them and then take turns running over them so they get a feel for what it feels like. These are animals and do not deserve to live.
jimmy1982
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September 20, 2013
I bet you wouldn't say that in their face internet tough guy!
Joyce Oscar
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September 20, 2013
Mr. Anonymous...you are neither judge nor jury...I wish I could be around to see what your judgement will be upon your demise. Go pray.
visigoth
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September 22, 2013
The best result would have been for them to be shot and killed in the commission of what would then have certainly been, their final crime.
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