January 7, 2016
Older student viciously attacked 16-year-old student at high school basketball game
By Joe Johnson
ATHENS, GA. | An Athens teen this week was sentenced to prison for viciously assaulting a Cedar Shoals High School student who he had bullied.
The assault occurred during a December 2014 basketball game between Cedar Shoals and crosstown rivals from Clarke Central High School, and authorities say 19-year-old Quintellis Bryant Smith used the chaos surrounding several fights that broke out as an opportunity to attack the 16-year-old student.
After knocking Walter McGuire Jr. unconscious, Athens-Clarke County police said Smith stood over McGuire and punched him in the head again.
Cedar Shoals had previously expelled Smith for bullying McGuire.
Police arrested Smith after the victim’s mother gave them a video of the assault that was circulating among students via social media.
A grand jury subsequently indicted Smith for aggravated assault and aggravated battery.
The indictment says Smith committed aggravated battery because he “did maliciously cause bodily harm to Walter McGuire Jr. by depriving said person of the use of his brain.”
McGuire’s mother told the Athens Banner-Herald her son suffered intracranial bleeding and received initial care at St. Mary’s Hospital and additional treatment at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite.
“The doctor said that they found blood on his spine,” Earnesia McGuire said.
The woman said her son transferred from the Madison County school system, and Smith and other students at Cedar Shoals bullied Walter because he was the new kid at school.
“He didn’t know anything about these boys and was just trying to find his way,” Earnesia McGuire said. “He was new to the school and they always were intimidating him.”
Prior to the assault, Smith was expelled from Cedar Shoals after he and other students intimidated McGuire in a classroom, according to police. Another student was reportedly barred from school grounds after he was arrested for stealing the victim’s cellphone.
When McGuire was assaulted at the basketball game, the police were not notified by anyone at the school. It was not until the victim’s mother took him to the hospital that she called 911.
Earnesia McGuire later supplied police with a video of the attack that was circulating among students and others. The woman’s daughter, a Cedar Shoals graduate, received the video on her cellphone.
Police said the video shows Smith knock out Walter McGuire with two “haymakers” to the head, then punch the victim again while McGuire was unconscious on the ground. Police said Smith claimed the fight was consensual, but the video refuted that claim.
The grand jury indicted Smith last January, and on Dec. 4 Smith entered into a plea agreement with the Western Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office.
As part of the deal, Smith pleaded guilty to both felony charges and was granted first-offender status. Superior Court Judge Lawton Stephens sentenced Smith to 15 years, with the first three years to be served in prison and the balance on probation. The sentence would be terminated after 10 years if Smith complies with all conditions of probation, according to court records.
Smith was freed on bail after his sentencing and surrendered at the jail at 1 a.m. Tuesday to begin serving his sentence.