Third, Final Cedar Shoals Rape Suspect Denied Bond

A Clarke County Superior judge Wednesday morning refused bail for the third and final suspect in the alleged rape of a student in a stairwell at Cedar Shoals High School last month. This news come after an emergency meeting between Cedar Shoals parents and the school board about the rape last night.

Chief Judge Sweat made the decision to deny 18-year-old Markell Derrick Brannon bail based on “concerns on whether the consortium was planned event or not”. Sweat said this is a serious offense that cannot be determined until the case goes to trial.

The two other suspects in the case were also denied bail in the initial hearing on Monday.

The State District Attorney Jon Forwood told Judge Sweat the prosecution plans to charge the suspects with additional crimes of tampering with evidence and influencing a major witness. Monday, the judge learned the suspects may have asked the propertied witness to recant her allegations.

According to arrest warrants obtained Tuesday, Brannon is charged with being a party to the crime of rape and a party to Xavier Clarke’s attempt to comment aggravated sodomy by holding the victim’s hair and arms.

The defense attorney said Brannon cooperated with detectives once arrested. According to attorney, Brannon gave a statement saying he and Clarke left once the incident  “came to a point when things went too far.” The State admitted that Brannon and Clarke are seen leaving the area on the film.

Cedar Shoals High School’s surveillance system recorded the alleged rape as it occurred in the stairwell during school hours. The problem with tape, according to the State, is the quality and lighting of the “grainy video of the video.”

This news come after an emergency meeting between Cedar Shoals parents and the school board about the rape last night.

Forwood says the prosecution plans to fast track the trail to a grand jury in two weeks.


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