Prosecutor shares why teenager received 40-year sentence for throwing hot oil during a fight


The case involving Myzelle Chantel Armstrong continues to create a firestorm due to the crime involved and the 40-year sentence she was given. Armstrong and her co-defendant, Zawadi Clark, got involved with a spat with a group of women on Instagram.

Reportedly, when their four female enemies arrived at the Cumberland Glen Apartments in Cobb County, Georgia, Armstrong held open their car door and threw the hot oil on the women. The victims sustained second-degree burns. Armstrong and Clark were both sentenced to 40 years. Clark will serve three years behind bars and Armstrong will serve four years in jail. The remainder of the sentence will be served on probation.

Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds recently discussed the case with rolling out.

Have you witnessed many cases that initially started due to disagreements on social media?

We have had several cases recently where arguments have commenced over social media. Social media has not really changed the way a case is prosecuted.  It has created a new source of information that can be valuable to both the prosecution and the defense.  Social media has also affected what form of evidence is gathered in criminal investigations and the admissibility of such evidence.

With the case of Myzelle Chantel Armstrong, why did premeditation play a significant role in her sentencing? 

An element of the offense of aggravated battery is malice. The state must therefore prove this element beyond a reasonable doubt.  Even though malice can be formed in an instant, in this case, heating up oil for the purpose of using it as a weapon demonstrates malice, preparation and planning. The weapon in this case was not a weapon of opportunity.

When we posted the case on our social media, some of our readers suggested that the 36 years of probation was excessive. What was the determining factor for such a long sentence?

The victim’s injuries in this case were substantial. As such, the medical bills and restitution were also significant. The lengthy probation enables the defendant to pay back the restitution at a lower monthly rate, thereby making the sum due more manageable and does not set the defendants up for failure.

Do you have any advice for teens or young adults who are not responsible when it comes to social media?

We would caution anyone on social medial to use common sense and care. We also advise parents to be involved in their children’s use of social media.

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