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Augusta Killer Who Texted His Plans to ‘Hit a Lick’ is Given a Life Sentence


A North Augusta man probably sealed his fate when he texted his plans to “hit a lick” in 2017.

Antonio Collier, 37, followed through on his plans to kill Sean Middlebrooks, an Augusta father of four. He gunned down the victim inside his own home on Rosier Road in Augusta on July 11, 2017.

Sean Middlebrooks, victim

On Friday, after a five-day trial in Richmond County, a jury found Collier guilty of malice murder, felony murder, and weapon possession. A judge sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Collier also got five years for the firearm offense.

District Attorney Investigator Sam Long was credited with uncovering the text message that proved 20 minutes before this murder, Collier was planning to “hit a lick,” according to District Attorney Jared Williams. That “lick” ended in Middlebrooks’ death.

Antonio Collier is seen from this file photo from his Wanted poster.

“The victim’s mother traveled from New York to be here and see justice done for her son,” Williams said in a press release. “Her embrace of ADA (Ryne) Cox told the story of how grateful she is that finally ‘Sean can rest in peace and power,’ as she told the judge at sentencing. Sean Middlebrooks was a father of four. Those kids deserved better. Our community deserves better. The District Attorney’s Office stands unwavering in the fight against gun violence.”

The district attorney thanked Coroner Mark Bowen for dropping everything to fill in for an unavailable witness. Williams said the trial was conducted by Assistant District Attorney Ryne Cox of the DA’s Violent Crimes Unit, supported by ADA Kyle Davis, Victim Advocates Cristina Kalpa and Laney Hankerson, and Legal Assistant Tracy Ball.

Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh is an award-winning crime reporter in the Augusta-Aiken area with experience writing for The Augusta Chronicle, The Augusta Press and serving as publisher of The Jail Report. Rickabaugh is a 1994 graduate of the University of South Carolina and has appeared on several crime documentaries on the Investigation Discovery channel.
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