At some point on the day 23-year-old Vernard Mays died last fall, his alleged killers had been in a car crash near the Bibb County Sheriff's Office warrant clerk's Second Street home.
The men carried guns or drugs, maybe both, from the wrecked car and hid them nearby, prosecutor Neil Halvorson said during a Thursday bond hearing for 19-year-old Michael Dewayne Hardy Jr., one of five men charged in the case.
Later that day, Oct. 27, Hardy and others went to retrieve the guns, he said.
"Unfortunately for Mr. Mays that location was near his residence," Halvorson said. "After a brief conversation with Mr. Mays, several people opened fire, killing Mr. Mays."
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Mays was shot at about 9:20 p.m.
Authorities recovered several shell casings from the scene, including at least one from a .380-caliber gun, Halvorson said.
Someone identified Hardy as one of the shooters. When deputies searched Hardy's bedroom, they found multiple rounds of ammunition, including .380-caliber rounds, he said.
Hardy later admitted to deputies he'd fired a .380-caliber gun at Mays' house, Halvorson said.
Although Halvorson didn't identify Hardy as a gang member, he said the killing had "gang connections" or "gang overtones."
Four other men have been charged with murder in the case: Jadarien Shamar Flowers, 19, Drayson MacDonald, 16, Addonis Rhodes, 16, and Curtis Dewayne Jackson Jr., 22.
Hardy's lawyer, Travis Griffin, argued that his client is entitled to a bond because he's been held at the county jail without an indictment for more than 90 days.
Jail records show Hardy was arrested Oct. 28.
Halvorson said the case is set to be presented to a grand jury later this month.
Griffin said Hardy lives with his mother and stepfather.
Before his arrest, he was a student in "good standing" at Westside High School's Twilight program which allows students to work and attend school. "He was expected to graduate in May," Griffin said.
Although Hardy was unemployed at the time of his arrest, he'd held a job in the past, he said.
The judge granted Hardy a $80,000 bond with conditions that he must wear an ankle monitor and be confined to his home under a curfew. He also is subject to conditions barring his contact with gangs, Mays' family or the other men charged in the case.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398 or find her on Twitter@awomackmacon.