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.
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.
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.”
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.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.