Yaya Gil said she held her boyfriend George Vela when he died. She was arrested by Cobb County police on felony murder charges in connection with his death.
Photo: Channel 2 Action News / Cobb County Sheriff’s Office
Photo: Channel 2 Action News / Cobb County Sheriff’s Office

Girlfriend among 3 arrested in shooting death of Cobb County father


Three people have been arrested in connection with the slaying of a young father in Cobb County — including his girlfriend who said she held him while he died. 

Yainerys “Yaya” Gil, 23, of Mableton, Christopher Gutierrez, 19, of Smyrna, and Zackary Franks, 19, of Mableton, each face aggravated assault and felony murder charges in the death of George Anthony Vela. 

Christopher Gutierrez (left) and Zackary Franks
Photo: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

The incident that led to Vela’s death started when his family returned to their home after seeing “The Lion King” and found the house had been broken into, AJC.com previously reported. 

RELATED: Cobb woman watched boyfriend die after he confronted burglar near their home

Police arrived at the Hickory Trail home in Mableton about 1 a.m. July 22 and left after an incident report was filed. Vela, a father of two, spotted a suspicious car parked near the house and went to check it out, AJC.com previously reported. He found his shoes, clothes and items that he sells online in the car and confronted the driver.

The driver then opened fire on him. 

In an interview with Channel 2 Action News last month, Gil tearfully said Vela was shot multiple times. 

“I hear somebody say, ‘Get out of the car,’” Gil said. “He’s ducking down like something is wrong. At this point, I’m just trying to get to him. And then it’s just shot and shot after shot.”

George Vela and his girlfriend had just gotten home from seeing "The Lion King" with their kids.

Vela died at the scene from multiple gunshot wounds before authorities arrived, Cobb police said.

“I just held him, and I already knew,” Gil told the news station. 

But police now believe Gil played a role in setting up her boyfriend’s murder, Channel 2 reported. According to her warrant, Gil conspired with Gutierrez and Franks to have Vela killed, and updated the two of them on her family’s whereabouts that night.

Gil was booked in the Cobb County Adult Detention Center on Wednesday and remains there without bond. Gutierrez and Franks are also being held in the Cobb jail without bond.

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