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Man cleared in Ga. officer slayings

Officers Shot
Police officers Eric Barker, left, and Ricky Bryant Jr. were gunned down Wednesday as they worked second jobs as security guards.DeKalb County Police Department via AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Georgia authorities have cleared one man's involvement in the killings of two police officers, while a fourth man remains in custody, DeKalb County police said.

Police said Deanthius Jamal Johnson, 28, was expected to be released Friday, a day after he had been arrested on two counts of murder based on public tips. Police said they had received information from the public that Johnson had been at the murder scene.

"It was determined this was not factual information," according to the police statement.

Officers Ricky Bryant Jr., 26, and Eric Barker, 33, were killed early Wednesday in a parking lot at the Glenwood Gardens apartment complex in Atlanta's eastern suburbs. The officers were wearing their police uniforms and had been hired as part-time security to prevent break-ins in the 176-unit complex.

On Friday, police arrested William Maurice Woodard, 26, and Mario O'Brian Westbrook, 31, on warrants charging them with two counts of murder. The same charges were filed against Herbie DeShawn Durham, 32, who was arrested Wednesday.

Woodward's first court appearance was expected Friday evening, police spokeswoman Mekka Parrish said. She did not have additional information on where the arrested men lived. It also was unknown whether the men had lawyers.

Crime-plagued housing complex
Residents say drugs, prostitution and gunfire are common at the apartment complex in the suburb six miles, just east of downtown Atlanta.

Police have not released a motive for the killings. They have declined to say if there are other suspects.

Both slain officers were married fathers and hired on as part-time security at the complex in December.