ATLANTA -- Prosecutors say a slain Atlanta restaurant owner was preparing to testify in an upcoming murder trial when she was gunned down at her northwest Atlanta business.
The businesswoman, 53-year-old Vanessa Thrasher of Lithia Springs, was found at OT's Lounge and Soul Food Grill early Thursday morning.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard tells WSB-TV that Thrasher was a key witness in the trial of a man charged with killing one of her employees during a fight at the business in May 2011. The trial is scheduled for next week.
Howard says prosecutors had just met with Thrasher Wednesday afternoon to go over final preparations for her to testify.
Howard said authorities were concerned for her safety before she was killed, and had ordered extra police patrols for her.