Jury deliberates only 25 minutes before convicting Griffin teen in 2020 murder case

Booking photo provided by the Griffin Police Department


A Spalding County jury on Wednesday deliberated only 25 minutes before returning a guilty verdict in the murder trial of 18-year-old Malik Yarbrough. Yarbrough was convicted of the July 14, 2020, murder of 46-year-old Robert Donnel Brown.

Yarbrough was only 16-years-old when he shot Brown in the back three times in the front yard of a Melrose Avenue residence.

The jury rejected Yarbrough’s claim of self-defense, instead convicting him of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

“Malik Yarbrough and Robert Brown were related. Robert Brown came to Malik’s house, where he lived with his mother, and wanted some stolen property back,” said Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Marie Broder. “Malik shot him in the back three times.”

Broder said Brown did not accuse Yarbrough of stealing his property.

“He didn’t really know who took it,” she said. “He was just wanting it back.”

Broder said her office is dedicated to prosecuting those who commit violent crimes.

“Robert Brown lost his life in a senseless act of violence. He was gunned down and executed by a man who did not have any regard for his life. Yesterday, a Spalding County jury sent a clear message to those like Yarbrough who commit violent crimes in our community…these acts will not be tolerated. I am proud of my office who worked so hard to bring this case to a jury. For those in this community who insist on continuing to bring violence to Spalding County, know this, my office is staffed and ready to continue to aggressively pursue and prosecute you.”

Broder said the jury’s brief deliberation made a distinct point.

“I think it’s a clear message. People are sick of it – sick of the violence,” she said.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Presley and Assistant District Attorney Adelle Petersen tried the case for the State. Griffin Police Department Sgt. Jairreis Williams and former Investigator Dexter McCune were the lead investigators.

Superior Court Judge Scott Ballard will sentence Yarbrough on March 24.

Broder said Griffin-Spalding County has 23 pending murder cases.

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  1. Diamond Anthony says:

    Thank you Lord!

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