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Joshua Richards appeared Monday before Chief Magistrate Alton Johnson at the Jack T. Bell Detention Center.


Jessica Gallagher/Times-Georgian

A Villa Rica man was charged Monday with murder following the death of his 3-year-old stepson.

Joshua Richards, 21, had previously faced several charges, including cruelty to children and aggravated assault, after Brentley Gore was found last week at a Villa Rica apartment with head injuries. The child died Sunday.

Chief Magistrate Alton Johnson on Monday said there were multiple marks and bruises on the child’s body, including a large knot between his eyebrows, a knot over his left eye with the eye swollen and bruised, as well as a massive injury to the left side of his brain and injury to the right side of his brain.

Johnson said Richards was charged with murder for taking the life of Brentley by excessively beating him.

Richards will have a preliminary hearing March 2, though he could be indicted before then.

“There is no forensic or data at the moment about the injuries,” said defense attorney Mac Pilgrim. “Mr. Richards at this point has advised me that this was an accident and that the child had fallen in the home.”

Pilgrim said that Richards denies any sort of abuse toward the child though he does admit to disciplining him. Pilgrim said Richards has made no indication of abusing the child.

“According to my client it was one fall,” Pilgrim said after being asked about the multiple head injuries. “You have to remember that this is a warrant written by one person so you can’t take that as the truth, or accurate, that is what is being stated.”

Pilgrim said there is a possibility that what police stated may not be accurate.

“I can tell you that I am 6-5 and blue-eyed but that does not make it true,” Pilgrim said. “I can write it down but the point being is that there are two sides to every case so we just have to wait and see.”

Pilgrim was appointed to Richards’ defense Friday. Pilgrim said they will be conducting investigations on the actual cause of death, medical records as well as the autopsy and the crime scene itself.

Attorney Darrell Donaldson of The Pilgrim Law Group clarified for Pilgrim that it is not a question of whether or not the police were lying on the report, but simply what they believe and can prove at the time.


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