ATLANTA — He bought her a birthday card.
She rubbed his back and said “look at me baby,” when she felt he needed comforting.
They exchanged messages and smiled at each other, when they thought nobody else was watching.
They were both involved in the Young Slime Life trial, he as a defendant and she as a deputy in the courtroom where the trial has been held. Now, they are both in the Fulton County jail.
A warrant issued by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office to search and seize the computer of an attorney revealed details about the alleged relationship between Deputy Akeiba Stanley, who has since been fired and arrested; and Christian Eppinger, whose case has been severed from the trial.
Stanley “fostered an inappropriate relationship” with Eppinger by visiting his cell and allegedly conspiring with one of his relatives to deliver prohibited items, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
The warrant notes a series of instances indicating a relationship.
Eppinger had been using his attorney’s laptop to message people via Instagram. In May, deputies deduced one of their colleagues was apparently among them. According to the warrant, an investigator with the sheriff’s office saw Eppinger type a message, smile and look at Stanley, who then typed something on her Apple watch before smiling at Eppinger. This happened several times, the warrant said.
An investigation later confirmed Eppinger was messaging with the deputy, the warrant said, by connecting their social media accounts back to them.
Other instances demonstrated an inappropriate relationship, the warrant said. Eppinger bought Stanley a birthday card from the jail commissary in April. The next month, after a scuffle between a different officer and Eppinger, Stanley allegedly stood by and did not assist in detaining Eppinger, while other deputies did so. Instead, according to the warrant, Stanley rubbed Eppinger’s back and said, “look at me, baby.”
According to the warrant, Eppinger’s lawyer, Eric Johnson, is accused of being a co-conspirator in allowing his client to message people using his laptop. Judge Ural Glanville severed the case because of a conflict of interest and potential security concerns. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for June 21.
Stanley was arrested last week and granted a $1 million bond. She had worked with the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office since October 2022 after being fired from the Atlanta Police Department in July 2018.
According to Georgia P.O.S.T. records, Stanley was placed on probation for 12 months on April 2020 following a series of complaints lodged against her by citizens during her time with the Atlanta Police Department.
She was ordered to complete an Ethics and Professionalism/Professional Ethics Course at her own expense within six months of the start of her probation.
Eppinger faces 15 counts in the sprawling gang case and is accused of shooting an Atlanta police officer six times during his 2022 arrest. Since then, he’s been linked to a jailhouse stabbing and he picked up two more felony charges for allegedly threatening sheriff’s office staff.
With Eppinger’s case severed, eight defendants, including Atlanta rapper Young Thug, are set to stand trial, down from 14 following other case severances. Jury selection began in January. Not a single juror has been seated.