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2 defendants accused of burning down Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks died accept plea deals

Two defendants accused of burning down an Atlanta Wendy’s restaurant, where Rayshard Brooks was fatally shot, have reached a plea deal with prosecutors.

On June 12, 2020, Brooks died after Atlanta police officers shot him during a confrontation outside the restaurant off University Ave. The next night, investigators accused Natalie Hanna White, Chisom Kingston and John Wesley Wade of setting a fire that destroyed the restaurant.

Fulton County court records show that White and Kingston accepted plea deals on Thursday just days before they were expected to go to trial. Both pleaded guilty to arson in the first degree, with a second count merged with the first count. They also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit arson.

Each will have to pay $500 fine, complete 150 hours of community service and serve five years probation. Court records show that Wade is in federal custody.

Channel 2′s Mark Winne spoke with Fulton District Attorney Fani Willis in 2022 after all three were indicted.

“I think this indictment is particularly important. It sends a message that we are a community that supports protesting. We certainly know it’s one of your constitutional rights but what we do not tolerate is violent protest,” Willis said. “It is unacceptable to burn down a building in our community even in the name of a protest.”

Willis said video, mostly from social media, was pivotal in building the case.

“I’m very proud of the law enforcement agencies. They spent lots of time scouring over thousands of hours literally of video to make sure that they had the right people in this case,” Willis said.

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