by: Mike Petchenik Updated:
DUNWOODY, Ga. - A Dunwoody man accused of throwing a friend five floors off an apartment balcony to his death made his first court appearance Thursday afternoon.
Police said Barrett Ricks, 24, got into a fight with 31-year-old Isaac Herrington at Ricks' apartment, on Perimeter Center East, sometime Wednesday night. Police aren't releasing a motive for the fight and describe the men as casual acquaintances.
"It appears that the suspect, Mr. Ricks, assaulted the victim, Mr. Herrington, and after he assaulted him, proceeded to push him or throw him over the balcony from the
fifth floor down to the ground below," said Dunwoody police Officer Tim Fecht.
Fecht told Channel 2's Mike Petchenik investigators initially thought Herrington had died by suicide, but after talking to witnesses, began to suspect foul play.
"We spoke to a number of neighbors in the complex, and they offered insight into noises they heard the night before," Fecht said.
Petchenik reached Herrington's mother, Patricia Herrington, at her home in Mobile, Ala. She told Petchenik the family was reeling from news of his death.
"He was just a fine man, and his life was taken from him," she said. "That's all we can say."
Herrington said her son grew up in Mobile and had only recently moved to Atlanta. She said he worked at a Regions Bank branch and was active in his Episcopal church.
Regions Bank sent Petchenik a statement about Herrington's
"It's a terrible tragedy that has touched many," said Mel Campbell, from the bank's Birmingham office. "Our thoughts and prayers go out at this time -- for a coworker and for those who worked with him, and to his family and friends."
Petchenik reached a man who identified himself as Ricks' father in Tennessee, but he declined to comment about the arrest or charges.