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Charges dropped against 2nd suspect in 2012 homicide

Prosecutors confirmed Thursday that they have dropped charges against another defendant in the Aug. 1, 2012, homicide of 31-year-old Damien McDonald, who was fatally wounded during a drug deal behind a Victory Drive restaurant.

Authorities initially pressed murder charges against all three men who were to buy marijuana from McDonald that day before one pulled a gun and tried to rob him. McDonald was wounded as he tried to speed away from the Captain D's at 3281 Victory Drive, but his car crashed into an oncoming vehicle on North Lumpkin Road.

The three suspects were Calvin Rickshawn Morris, Archie Lee Gibson and Jacinto Taron Robinson Sr., but charges against the latter two were dropped after Morris pleaded guilty Oct. 15 to a reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter.

Superior Court Judge Frank Jordan Jr. sentenced Morris to 20 years in prison on the manslaughter charge and 10 years for aggravated assault, plus 20 years' probation on other counts such as attempted armed robbery.

Charges against Gibson were dropped soon after Morris' plea, and Assistant District Attorney Brad Bickerstaff confirmed Thursday that Robinson also will not be prosecuted in McDonald's death.

Bickerstaff said both Gibson and Robinson gave consistent accounts of what happened, saying they did not know Morris was going to try to rob McDonald rather than pay for the marijuana.

Robinson was represented by Columbus attorney Michael Eddings.

Authorities said Morris shot through McDonald's car window, mortally wounding the driver who tried to speed away. His green 1994 Cadillac DeVille was headed north on North Lumpkin Road when about 80 feet from the restaurant, the Cadillac drifted into the left lane and collided head-on with a 1999 Ford Taurus occupied by six people, including three young children, investigators said.

All the Taurus' occupants were taken to the hospital to be treated for their injuries. A deputy coroner pronounced McDonald dead at 10:44 p.m.

Though Robinson faces no charges in McDonald's death, court records show he since has had other run-ins with the law. While out on bond in the homicide case, he was charged Oct. 24, 2013, with misdemeanor possession of marijuana and possessing a firearm during the commission of a crime.

On June 26, 2014, police charged him with criminal trespass and two counts of simple assault for damaging a woman's 2002 Ford Crown Victoria and threatening "violent injury" against two other women, who feared for their safety, court records show.

He pleaded guilty to those misdemeanor charges Nov. 25, 2014, and was sentenced to 60 days in jail plus probation, according to case files.

He was on probation in 2012 when McDonald was killed, having been convicted Aug. 5, 2009, of burglary and theft by receiving stolen property. Those charges stemmed from a June 13, 2008, break-in on Collins Drive. Authorities said Robinson was found to have a computer stolen from that residence.

He last was in court March 2, when Judge Frank Jordan Jr. ordered him to serve a week in jail for violating probation, records show. He was to get credit for time he'd already been in jail.

Robinson today is 24 years old. His former codefendant Calvin Morris, 23, started serving his prison sentence Nov. 4, 2014, and currently is housed in the Wheeler Correctional Facility in Alamo, Ga., according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.

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