Published Monday, December 24, 2012

Arrest: Former Northgate wrestler charged in party stabbing incident

By JOHN A. WINTERS

john@newnan.com

A former wrestler for Northgate High School was jailed Friday on aggravated assault charges stemming from a stabbing that occurred at a party earlier this month, according to Coweta County Jail records.

Braxtin Smith Ward, 18, was charged with stabbing another individual, authorities said. He was later released on a $10,000 signature bond, according to jail records. Ward graduated from Northgate in May.

The charges stem from a fight that broke out at a party attended by current and former students from Northgate and Newnan high schools, said Major Jimmy Yarbrough with the Coweta County Sheriff's Office. During the party, one person was stabbed and a shotgun fired at the residence, 164 Poythress Road.

“Shots were fired, and we found shotgun shells on the ground, as well as a kitchen knife with blood on it," the major said.

Investigators were told by Torres Johnson, who lived there, the party “got out of control and shots were fired,” Yarbrough said. About 20 people were involved, including students and former students. Johnson is a football and basketball player at Northgate.

Later that night, authorities got a call from Piedmont Newnan Hospital about a stabbing victim at the hospital. The victim, Recardo Key, 19, was stabbed in the chest, but his injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, Yarbrough said. “We interviewed Mr. Key and went from there.”

Investigators also are considering charges against those who fired shots, he said, adding “We have an idea who fired it and are continuing that investigation.”

The shotgun was fired apparently in an attempt to disperse the crowd, the major said.

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