Guilty Plea Accepted in 2021 Brunswick Aggravated Assault
State v. LaBaron King
September 16, 2022
District Attorney Keith Higgins announces that LaBaron King, 18, from Brunswick, pled guilty to Aggravated Assault, Possession of a Firearm During Commission of a Felony, Possession of a Handgun by a Person Under the Age of 18 years and Theft by Receiving a Firearm. The non-negotiated guilty plea was entered in Glynn County Superior Court on April 8, 2022 with sentencing delayed until September 16, 2022.
The charges stem from an incident that occurred at approximately 9:30pm on June 6, 2021, when the victim, Jose Gonzalez Jr, 20, also from Brunswick, was walking near the 2900 block of MLK Blvd and talking on his phone with his girlfriend. Gonzalez saw the defendant, King, walking nearby and the two exchanged words as Gonzalez’ girlfriend had previously dated King. King then drew a handgun and started shooting at Gonzalez, who was hit in the hip and fell to the ground. As King fled, Gonzalez drew his gun and returned fire, but King was not hit. The next day, King was located at his grandmother’s house, but he fled from police and threw the handgun in some bushes before he was caught. Police recovered the handgun, which had previously been reported as stolen from a vehicle in Brunswick.
At the time of the offense, King was 16 years of age. Under Georgia law, a person under the age of 17 years of age is considered a juvenile for prosecution purposes, and he was initially charged as such. Subsequently, the District Attorney’s Office successfully argued in Juvenile Court to have the case transferred to Superior Court so that Mr. King could be prosecuted as an adult. According to District Attorney Keith Higgins, “A teenager who uses a firearm to commit a violent crime should be held fully responsible for their actions by being prosecuted as an adult in Superior Court. The harm caused by the violence is the same regardless of their age. The consequences should be the same.”
King was sentenced on September 16, 2022 in Glynn County Superior Court by Judge Stephen D. Kelley to 15 years in prison followed by 15 years on probation.
Members of the media with further questions may contact the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office at 912-554-7200.