Two brothers earned prison time after they admitted to shooting and killing a man who refused to buy drugs from them at a gas station, officials said.
Fredrick Stephenson, 28, and Wayne Finnie, 32, were sentenced Wednesday in a Fulton County magistrate court after pleading guilty in the death of Elliot Johnson, District Attorney Paul Howard said.
Johnson, 26, was helping a friend change a tire at a Valero on Fulton Industrial Boulevard on March 20, 2018, AJC.com previously reported. At some point, Stephenson and Finnie, who were regulars at the gas station, came outside and a verbal altercation ensued, Howard said.
“The argument stemmed from Finnie and Stephenson’s frustration over the fact that Johnson did not desire to purchase their illegal narcotics in an area they considered to be their ‘turf,’” Howard said.
The argument escalated when Finnie punched Johnson, knocking him to the ground. When Johnson tried to stand up, Stephenson hit him with a 9 mm pistol, Howard said.
Stephenson then shot Johnson, the DA said. Stephenson and Finnie ran away, while Johnson died at the scene.
Investigators said Johnson did not have a weapon when he was killed.
“Johnson was simply at the Valero location to fix a flat tire on a friend’s vehicle,” Howard said.
Johnson’s mother, Janese Hill, said the incident “left a gaping hole in our family.”
“Elliot was a loving son, father and uncle,” she said. “That hole will never be filled.”
Authorities later identified Stephenson and Finnie as suspects in the shooting. They were arrested in North Carolina in June 2018.
Stephenson and Finnie were convicted of murder, felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Stephenson was sentenced to life in prison plus five years. Finnie was ordered to spend 35 years in prison.
It’s not the first time the brothers have been in custody, records show.
Stephenson was convicted of theft by taking on charges out of Fulton County in 2012, according to Georgia Department of Corrections records.
Finnie was taken into custody multiple times in Fulton County, including an arrest on drug and robbery charges in 2007 and a possession of cocaine charge in 2012, jail records show.
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