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‘It Destroyed Him Mentally’: Atlanta Mom Says Son Was the Victim of Shooting, But He Spent More Than Two Years In Jail for Murder Charges Instead

The Atlanta Police Department has released a metro Fulton County man from jail, clearing him of charges related to a 2020 shooting over a Fourth of July holiday weekend.

The young man’s mother says her son was a victim that night and may require counseling for the trauma he experienced while incarcerated for almost the past two and half years.

De’Andre Brown spent two and half years in prison for a crime he says he did not commit. (Photo: YouTube screenshot/ 11 Alive)

His mother Theresa Parker never doubted his innocence.

“I believed in him, and I was always his cheerleader,” Parker said. “He was locked up, and there was only so much that he could do. I’m going to be the loudest cheerleader in the room for him.”

The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office declined to present De’Andre Brown, 28, before a grand jury on two counts of felony murder and one count of aggravated assault for the fatal shooting of Joshua Ingram and Erica Robinson in Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn neighborhood on July 5, 2020, 11 Alive reports.

A spokesperson from the Atlanta Police Department Sgt. John Chafee said since Brown’s September 2020 arrest, more information has emerged that resulted in Brown’s charges to have been dropped.

According to court documents, “while it appears that probable cause may have existed for the defendant’s arrest,” there was “insufficient evidence to prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Two other men have been indicted for the crimes.

Parker says her son actually was on the other end of the trigger, having been shot in the leg that night. The mother said Brown went to authorities with information regarding the shooting that killed two and injured 13, and to his lack of judgment made him a suspect.

“I felt like he made the biggest mistake – never go talk to anybody without an attorney. That’s what I learned from this whole ordeal,” Parker said. “This whole ordeal has been very stressful, devastating, no sleep.”

“It destroyed him mentally,” the mother said, as she talked about seeing her son deteriorate as he questioned why he was pinned as a suspect.

As he picks up the pieces of his life, Brown will return to working at a local church where he previously worked.

Parker spent thousands of dollars in legal fees to help secure his freedom.

“As far as [an] attorney – I want to say over $60,000. As far as phone calls and putting money on his book – I know personally I spent a lot,” she said, explaining that she even took money from her IRA to support her son. 

The district attorney’s office has turned its attention to Jerry Emile and Saeed Reed in September 2022, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Court documents state Emile, who is already a convicted felon, was arrested in August 2021 on aggravated assault charges surrounding the shooting, but those charges did not stick.

Now, they have been upgraded, and he faces a slew of charges including six counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery; making false statements to officials; two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony; and three counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Reed now faces two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

The two victims who died were hanging out with friends when they were shot during the holiday festivities.

Robinson, a Verizon worker, was 32 years old. Her sister Tiffany said authorities informed her about her sister’s death around 10:30 a.m. on July 5. The family had just gathered for a reunion and were not expecting Robinson because she had to work.

 No one was prepared to hear the tragic news. Robinson said it makes her value life more and “not take anything for granted.”

Ingram was the other deceased victim. At the time, the 20-year-old and his friends gathered outside an apartment complex to watch the fireworks. Gunshots, which eventually ended his life, went off while they were enjoying the summer festivities.

Sherlyn Ingram, the young man’s mother, said her son was “loved” by many.

“[He] touched the hearts of many, and he cared for so many people,” she said, calling his killing “senseless.”

Many were gathered at the Auburn Avenue intersection that night to watch the fireworks. Police reports say around 1 a.m. a blue Chevrolet Camaro started revving up and doing stunts on the street. The driver lost control of his vehicle and struck two parked cars and a pedestrian, which led to a fight between a group of people that ended in shots being fired.

Over a dozen people were shot, but two, unfortunately, lost their lives.

On Friday, Dec. 8, APD released a statement regarding the ongoing investigation, saying it “has been working closely with the Fulton County District Attorney’s office regarding the case.”

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