MARCH 18, 2013 - Opening statements for the case of the State versus Dantazias Raines began in Upson Superior Court today, with the honorable Judge Christopher C. Edwards presiding. Raines was indicted in March of last year for the murder of Brandy Turner Guined, a cab driver for City Cab of Thomaston, who was shot during an attempted robbery on December 21, 2011. Raines plead not guilty in April of 2012 to one count each of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, criminal attempt to commit armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, underage possession of a pistol/revolver and three counts of obstruction misdemeanor for struggling and attempt to resist arrest.
Assistant District Attorney Ben Coker began the opening statements by describing the timeline of the alleged crime to the jury. He stated that Guined received a call for a pick up at 202 Avenue N during her shift on December 21, 2011 and was flagged down by Raines upon arriving at the location, who then used a .380 handgun in attempt to rob the driver. He continued stating that after Guined was shot, she drove down Barnesville Street to the 7-11 where she ran off the road and hit a fence where she was still alive when the Thomaston Police Department arrived on the scene. Guined later succumbed to her injuries.
Coker also noted that the state has a witness who will testify that Raines told him he had a “sweet lick to hit” (which he noted is street talk for a robbery) when he came to borrow his iPod before the call was made to the cab company. According to the state, the witness will also testify that Raines confessed to the killing of Guined the next morning and recorded the conversation which was later turned over to the police. Coker asked that the jury return a verdict of guilty when the trail is over.
Monica Hamlett is serving as Raines’s attorney and told the jury that there are certain pieces of the puzzle that they agree with the state on, however there are several that do not fit quite right. She asked the jury to take note of the motivation of those who testify as to why they are saying what they do. Hamlett also noted that you would not hear about DNA, fingerprints or how the gun was linked back to Raines because those pieces have been forced into place.
After hearing opening statements, court was recessed until 9 a.m. tomorrow morning. The Thomaston Times will be covering the case as it continues throughout the rest of the week.