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Rockdale hair weaves murder underscores growing violence


CONYERS—Four young people are facing felony murder charges as a result of a botched hairweave robbery that took place in Conyers a few weeks ago. The sister of the dead woman is among those waiting to go to court. She could not attend funeral services because she is being held without bond at the Rockdale County Jail.

Authorities say Christina Menzies, 19, of Covington, was charged with the murder of her sister, 21-year-old Jennifer Menzies, who was shot several times during an arranged night-time meeting where they allegedly went to buy hair weaves.

 The shooting took place on Dec. 11, at 10 p.m. at the pool area in the Fountain Crest subdivision, located in South Rockdale County on Georgia Highway 20 and Highway 138, the Rockdale Sheriff’s Department said. 

A man and woman who was selling the hair weaves told authorities that a group, which included the Menzies, emerged from some bushes and came toward their truck pointing a handgun. The group and the people in the truck exchanged gunfire and Jennifer Menzies was shot several times in the crossfire. Her sister rushed her to the hospital, where she died.

In addition to charging Christina Mezies with murder and criminal attempt to commit armed robbery, Rockdale deputies charged Brandon Jay Lamothe and Jaquan House, both 20, of Conyers; and James Wansley Edwards, 21, of Stone Mountain.

The ATF recovered the gun on Dec. 27 in a wooded area in the subdivision where the incident occurred.   

The attempted robbery in Rockdale underscores the violence that is spreading across the country with a growing demand for hair weaves and the profits that go with the business.

In Dearborn, Mich., Jay Shin, the owner of Sunrise Beauty Supply, was killed during a holdup by two men who stole 80 packages of hair extensions worth about $10,000.

In West Palm Beach, Fla., a 16-year-old girl sprayed a clerk with pepper spray  as she made off with extensions. And in Lawton, Oklahoma, a customer who ran out of a store.

The threat of robberies has prompted some salons and beauty supply shops to hire security guards, install bulletproof glass partitions and in some cases, even require patrons to show identification before they are allowed into back rooms to choose their hair.

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