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Fambro seeks immunity under ‘stand your ground’ statute

By Walter Geiger A local man charged with voluntary manslaughter is seeking immunity from prosecution under Georgia’s so-called ‘stand your ground’ statute. Frenchie Fambro was originally charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of 26-year-old Christopher Martin Stepanski in the parking lot of JR Food Mart on College Drive in Barnesville on July 21, 2011. Chief magistrate William Thomas later dismissed the murder charge and Fambro was subsequently indicted on the manslaughter count. During a hearing last week in superior court, Judge Bill Fears heard testimony and reviewed evidence. He asked both the prosecution and defense to submit written summations. Testifying were investigator Al Moltrum of the Barnesville Police Department and GBI crime scene specialist Todd Crosby. He also heard recorded testimony from GBI lead agent Brian Hargrove. The only witness to the shooting, Matthew Goins, also testified. Evidence included the autopsy report, crime scene photos and photos of the gunshot wounds to Stepanski’s arm and midsection. Fambro has maintained from the start that an argument ensued between he and Stepanski and that Stepanski was beating him while he was in his vehicle. District attorney Richard Milam said the forensic evidence indicated Fambro was in the vehicle when he fired the fatal shot and that Stepanski was no more than two feet from him when he was hit. Milam expects a ruling prior to the next trial term.

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