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Thursday, 10 February 2011

“critical witness” in the case against a man charged with killing a Grant Park bartender had to have his leg amputated Tuesday

10:42 |

The “critical witness” in the case against a man charged with killing a Grant Park bartender had to have his leg amputated Tuesday, further threatening the prosecution of the accused gang member, Fulton County’s district attorney said.

The witness, identified in court this week as Eddie Pugh, was shot over the weekend while working on a car.

The shooting concerns law enforcement officials because this the third time in the past four months that witnesses in cases against violent gang members have been attacked.

The witness was “very critical in our being able to connect the case" to defendant Jonathan Redding, a suspected member of the street gang 30 Deep, District Attorney Paul Howard said Wednesday.

Atlanta police are investigating whether the shooting of the witness was connected to the murder case. “But it doesn’t take a fool to see this is quite a coincidence,” Howard said, adding that the man was not a gang member and was, in fact, the victim in another alleged attack by Redding.

The trial in the Jan. 7, 2009, shooting death of bartender John Henderson was scheduled to start Monday and was postponed until at least next month. Now that trial date is uncertain. “That’s really bad news for us,” Howard said.

The prosecutor pointed out that a witness in the recent murder trial of 30 Deep leader George “Keon” Redding was beaten in jail while waiting to testify. Keon Redding, who is Jonathan’s cousin, was convicted last week of killing two men and wounding two others.

One of the men wounded had witnessed one of the killings and was shot four times by Keon Redding. That witness survived. When he refused to testify, prosecutors arrested him and put him in jail. He later testified.

Henderson’s killing by a robbing crew at the now defunct Standard Food & Spirits rallied Atlanta residents and forced violent street crime to be one of the major issues in the mayoral race that year.:Text may be subject to copyright.This blog does not claim copyright to any such text. Copyright remains with the original copyright holder

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