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Waffle House shooter charged with felony murder

Robert Lewis Henderson Jr., 36, has been charged with felony murder in connection with a shooting at the Waffle House on I-75 at Hwy. 36 East that killed Nicholas Phinazee Bryan, 27, of Milner Halloween night. Another man in the restaurant has also been charged, according to Towaliga Circuit district attorney Jonathan Adams. Both are from Flovilla. UPDATE: The GBI has confirmed that Robert Lewis Henderson and Antonio DeMary Evans turned themselves in Wednesday morning at the Butts County sheriff’s office. An additional charge of aggravated assault was lodged against Henderson. ******************** NOTICE: This story and photo(s) are under copyright. They may not be republished or disseminated in any form or format – including social media – without explicit permission. ********************* Henderson is the son of Butts County commissioner Robert L. Henderson Sr. Antonio DeMarty Evans, 39, has been charged with tampering with evidence. ”Warrants have been taken for these two gentlemen and they are turning themselves in tomorrow,” Adams reported Tuesday evening. He also said the entire incident inside the Waffle House was captured by video surveillance. Adams was contacted at Fort Hood, Texas where he is in training for a week. PREVIOUS COVERAGE: A 27-year-old Milner man was shot following a racially-charged altercation at the Waffle House on Hwy. 36 East and I-75 Halloween night. The restaurant is just across the line in Butts County. Butts sheriff Gary Long called in the GBI to investigate because the shooter is the son of a Butts County commissioner. According to Nelly Miles of the GBI public information office, three 911 calls were received in quick succession from the Waffle House beginning at 10:57 p.m. Oct. 31. The first was regarding an irate customer, the second a fight and the third reported shots fired. Deputies arrived and found a white male, Nicholas Phinazee Bryan, who had suffered a gunshot wound. Bryan was transported to Monroe County Hospital in Forsyth where he was pronounced dead at about 3 a.m. Nov. 1. A preliminary investigation by GBI agents revealed Robert Lewis Henderson Jr., 36, and Antonio DeMarty Evans, 39, both black males from Flovilla, had a confrontation with Bryan inside the restaurant. Bryan used racial slurs toward Henderson and Evans and was asked to leave by Waffle House staff. At some point, Evans and Bryan got into a physical fight. Henderson then fired one round at Bryan, striking him. One unconfirmed account indicated Henderson fired a warning shot into the ground that ricocheted and hit Bryan. Bryan’s body was taken to the state crime lab for autopsy Nov. 1. Funeral arrangements were incomplete at press time Monday but will be announced by Conner-Westbury Funeral Home. Henderson’s father, Robert L. Henderson Sr., has represented district two on the Butts County commission since 2009. He is also pastor of Rock Creek Baptist Church in Indian Springs. He and his son are partners in R.L. Henderson & Sons Tree Removal Service. The GBI generally does not file criminal charges in such cases. Its report will go to district attorney Jonathan Adams who will make that decision. Note: The mugshot of Bryan included was provided by the Lamar County sheriff’s office. He was booked there on March 30, 2011 for underage possession of alcohol and again on Sept. 13, 2014 for disorderly conduct, concealing facts or providing fraudulent documents in matters of government and false statements and writings. His address at the time of his last arrest was 908 Chappell Mill Rd., Milner

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