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Bond denied in 'spice beating'
Thomas Jason Browning

    Bond was denied Wednesday for a man charged with beating a woman in the face and head with “a large glass beer mug” while he was reportedly under the influence of a synthetic marijuana known as “spice.”
    Thomas Jason Browning, 23, Brannen Road, kept his head bowed as Bulloch County Superior Court Judge Gates Peed listened to arguments from prosecutors and defense attorneys as to reasons he should be denied or given bond.
    Browning is charged with aggravated assault with intent to murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated battery.
    Amber Fields, 20, of Swainsboro, suffered broken facial bones, a fractured skull, shattered nose and other complications after reportedly being beaten in the head and face Sept. 11 by Browning in his home. She remains in critical condition in a Savannah hospital.
    Ogeechee Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Michael Muldrew said there remains concern about Field’s condition and further charges against Browning are possible depending on her recovery. Browning has “no connections to the community” and could pose a flight risk, he said.
    As prosecutors showed graphic crime scene photographs of the night Fields was found covered in blood, Browning turned his head and refused to look at the photos.
    His attorney Stuart Patray brought Browning’s parents to the stand to state why their son should be awarded bond.
    Greg Browning said his son was “generally a good kid … who just got off track.” The only criminal history his son has is a marijuana possession charge and a DUI, he said,
    “He just made a horribly terrific mistake … he has had some struggles in his life,” he said.
    Muldrew pointed out that Jason Browning got the DUI charge two months after being released from probation on a conviction of underage possession of alcohol and marijuana possession.
    Angela Browning said her son was nominated friendliest among his high school peers and never showed any violent tendencies. He has a one year old child and would be supervised by family if released on bond, she said.
    She sobbed as she said, “It’s not him. He wouldn’t do anything like that to anybody.”
    Jason Browning, handcuffed and with leg shackles, wiped tears from his own eyes as his mother cried on the witness stand.
    Bulloch County Sheriff’s reports state Browning said he and Fields had been smoking “spice” before the attack occurred.
    Packets of the drug, which are readily available in tobacco and smoking stores, were found in Browning’s home, according to reports. The packets are marketed as “natural aromatic incense or potpourri,” but investigators found through research that the substance is used as a drug.
    Due to “the gravity of the charges” and the fact that Fields has had a stroke in addition to being in a medically induced coma because of extensive facial and head injuries, as well as an aneurysm in her chest, Muldrew asked that bond be denied.
    “The court will deny bond at this time,” Peed said.
    Holli Deal Bragg maybe reached at (912) 489-9414.

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