Houston grand jury indicts teen on involuntary manslaughter charge

bpurser@macon.comMay 8, 2014 

PERRY -- A Houston County grand jury has indicted a 19-year-old on charges of involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct in the unintentional shooting death of another teen.

The indictment against Marcus Dewayne Sallette of Warner Robins accuses him of “carelessly handling a loaded firearm, causing it to discharge.” That alleged reckless conduct resulted in the death of 19-year-old Aaron Taylor, the indictment stated.

Taylor, of Elko, was found badly wounded inside a Southland Station apartment by Warner Robins police responding to a 911 call shortly before 4:45 p.m. March 12, police said. He was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead.

Police have not released the circumstances surrounding the shooting. The indictment, returned Tuesday, did not include any details.

“I’m really disappointed that they called it manslaughter instead of an accident,” said Robert Surrency, an assistant public defender representing Sallette.

Although what happened was “certainly horrible,” Surrency said Sallette has no known criminal history.

“There’s no malice or sudden argument between the parties,” Surrency said. “I don’t know why they think it was aggravated enough to get to a crime.”

Surrency declined to discuss the details of the incident.

Prosecutor Dan Bibler declined to respond to Surrency’s comments or discuss the facts of case.

“As far as the Sallette case, we’ll let it pursue its course,” Bibler said. “It is tragic what happened. ... It’s a very tragic set of circumstances.”

Although a $25,000 bond has been set for Sallette, he has been able to post it, Surrency said.

Also indicted Tuesday was Denzel Cortez Rutledge, 18, of Warner Robins on a charge of armed robbery in an April 15 incident in which he’s accused of stealing a cellphone.

According to police, officers responding to the personal armed robbery call on Lisa Drive were told the suspect, later identified as Rutledge, had fled into a nearby apartment. The officers had a 911 operator call the number for the stolen cellphone and heard it ringing from inside the apartment and arrested him inside.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.

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