On March 9, 2022, a Spalding County jury convicted Malik Yarbrough of Malice Murder, Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony. The jury deliberated for 25 minutes before delivering the verdict. Senior Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Presley and Assistant District Attorney Adelle Petersen tried the case for the State. Griffin Police Department investigated the murder.
Today, June 8, 2022, after a lengthy sentencing hearing, the Honorable Scott L. Ballard sentenced the defendant to Life in Prison Without the Possibility of Parole for the murder. Both the State and the Defense introduced evidence at the hearing.
Yarbrough, an 18-year-old man from Griffin, was convicted of shooting Robert Donnel Brown in the back 3 times, killing him. The defendant claimed self-defense, but the jury rejected that defense with its verdict. Yarbrough murdered Brown on July 14, 2020 in the yard of a home on Melrose Avenue in Griffin.
At the sentencing hearing District Attorney Broder stated, “[t]his defendant has lived a significant life of crime already. If he gets out of prison, I believe he will kill someone else.”
Judge Ballard weighed both mitigating and aggravating factors and ultimately determined that the defendant was “permanently incorrigible” due to his significant criminal history and lack of remorse for the crime.