Two men charged in teen's killing
16-year-old Butler High student shot at home
By Jonathan Overstreet and Preston Sparks | Staff Writers
Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Authorities arrested two men Tuesday night in the shooting death of a 16-year-old earlier in the day.

Brandon Ira Le'Keith Helm, 18, of Warwick Place in Hephzibah, and Darian Deandre Postell, 19, of Thames Place in Hephzibah, are charged with one count each of murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, Richmond County sheriff's Lt. Scott Peebles said. Both men were being held without bond at the Richmond County jail.

The shooting happened at 2:16 a.m. in the Pepperidge subdivision near Peach Orchard Road, police said.

Peebles said the incident is believed to have resulted from an altercation Monday evening in which Helm and another man were shot at while walking through the subdivision, Peebles said. No one was hit, but investigators believe that Helm, who has been identified as the shooter, retaliated against Brandon Desean Taylor, Peebles said.

Investigators believe that Postell accompanied Helm to Taylor's home in the 3400 block of Monte Carlo Drive and disposed of the weapon afterward.

The investigation is ongoing and more arrests are possible, Peebles said.

The shooting of Taylor, a student at Butler High School, caused Richmond County school officials to cancel some high school basketball games and all after-school activities on the middle school level.

The cancellations involved games between Westside and Butler, which was to be at Glenn Hills High; Harlem High at Hephzibah High; and Cross Creek at Lakeside. A wrestling match scheduled at Butler also was canceled.

Richmond County school system spokesman Louis Svehla said the decision was made partly out of respect to the family of the shooting victim but that safety also was a concern.

Butler, Cross Creek and Hephzibah high schools also were under "soft lock-downs" Tuesday. They essentially restricted outdoor activities.

Butler is just four miles from where Tuesday's shooting occurred, and Cross Creek and Hephzibah are in the same geographical area. Svehla said many of the three schools' students intermingle and know one another.

Svehla said counselors were at Butler on Tuesday to assist students who knew the shooting victim.

Staff Writer Adam Folk contributed to this story.

Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 828-3851 or preston.sparks@augustachronicle.com.

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