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Residents Complained of Nightly Gunshots Before the Murders of Antwan Fuller and Matthew Davis

What did management at Green Meadows Townhouses know about crime on their property, and what could they have done to reduce it?

Antwan Fuller, 20, and Matthew Davis, 27, were the eighth and ninth homicide victims in the Macon-Bibb area this year, according to Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones. An unidentified suspect shot the men just before midnight on June 26 at Green Meadows Townhouses on Log Cabin Drive. A third victim, Mia Sanders, was shot in the thigh and was treated for her wounds.

Read the news story here.

While the suspect who murdered Fuller and Davis is criminally liable for the crime, the owners and management of Green Meadows Townhouses may share civil liability for the homicides. Georgia law requires property owners to take reasonable efforts to keep tenants and guests safe. The more crime a community experiences, the more a property owner is expected to devote to security. Proper lighting, gates, and security patrols are proven to reduce crime rates in apartment communities.

From news reports, it’s unclear what security measures Green Meadows Townhouses deployed, but it was clearly ineffective. One tenant on Google Reviews complained of “gunshots every night,” and she complained of “people breaking into your apartment and kicking in doors.” Another reviewer complained that they never have visitors, because they fear their guest’s cars will be damaged. Both complained of bad maintenance.

Read the Google Reviews here.

Attorney Chuck Clay practices negligent security law in Georgia, and frequently works with clients in Macon. “When management neglects basic maintenance issues, it is often a good indication that they neglect basic security requirements as well,” Chuck explains. “When the neglect is visible to people on the street, it sends a signal to criminals that the property owners don’t care, and it can attract more crime.” When crime is allowed to persist, management can be held liable in a court of law.

One of the residents wrote on Google Reviews that someone “should just shut it down.” There have been instances when apartment managers allowed crime to get so bad in a community that local governments declared the property a nuisance and did shut it down. On the contrary, it is proven that a good management team who demonstrates care for the property, and that makes reasonable investments in security, can have a significant and positive impact on the crime rate in the community.

Police can only do so much to prevent crime. But victims of violent crime, and their families, can use the civil court system to hold negligent apartment managers and owners accountable. By standing up and insisting that property owners follow Georgia law and provide reasonable security for their residents, we can force changes that will help Make Macon Safe.

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