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  • Athens Banner-Herald

    Athens man faces trial in South Carolina for murder and attempted murder

    By Wayne Ford, Athens Banner-Herald,

    2024-04-15
    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3uUVpo_0sR6cR6600

    An Athens man who was arrested nearly four years ago in a violent crime that erupted in gunfire during a concert in Greenville, S.C., and claimed the lives of two people is scheduled for trial next month.

    Jarquez Kezavion Cooper, 26, is charged with two counts of murder and eight counts of attempted murder. A spokesman for Columbia, S.C., defense attorney Bakari Sellers said Thursday the case is set for trial on May 20.

    The shootings occurred July 5, 2020, during a concert by the rap artist Foogiano, whose legal name is Kwame Khalil Brown. He is originally from Greensboro, Georgia and had signed with a record label in Atlanta.

    Brown was performing on stage at the Lavish Lounge in Greenville when gunfire erupted at about 2 a.m. Killed in the gunfire was Mykala Bell, the 23-year-old mother of two children, and Clarence S. Johnson, a 51-year-old security guard for the club.

    Greenville Slayings:Athens man denied bond in S.C. rap concert killings; other suspects sought

    Eight others were wounded in the shootings described by the Greenville News as “one of the largest shootings in Greenville County’s recent history.”

    Cooper was arrested just days after the shooting, but sheriff’s investigators reported at the time they also believe there was another shooter.

    Cooper has remained in the Greenville County Detention Center since his arrest. He has been denied bail.

    Brown was not involved in the shootings, according to the Greenville investigators. However, he was charged in Georgia with tampering with evidence in a Barrow County case unrelated to the Greenville case.

    Brown later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in a state prison.

    He was paroled in May 2023, but remained in custody due to a federal charge in South Carolina of possessing a firearm by a convicted felon. His status in the federal system was unavailable Thursday.

    After the shooting, Brown went on Instagram to say he was not involved, according to the Greensville News.

    “I’m not going to blame myself for something I didn’t cause and never will,” said Brown, who made an album with Gucci Mane’s 1017 Records before his incarceration.

    The Lavish Lounge on White Horse Road never reopened after the violent night.

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