Five men were sentenced Friday for their role in the 2016 torture and murder of a former police witness whose body was discovered stuffed in the trunk of a car parked at a MARTA station.
Christopher Lockett, 30, Xavier Gibson, 23, Quatez Clark, 21, Joshua Rooks, 27, and Jasper Green, 27, were convicted April 1 of murder, participating in criminal street gang activity and other felony charges related to the beating, sexual assault and killing of 33-year-old Christopher Dean.
Dean was murdered at an Atlanta home after the men — members of the Gangster Disciples street gang — discovered he was once a police witness in California, authorities said.
Investigators said Dean was tortured, sodomized and shot twice in the back of the head before his body was stuffed into the trunk of a Toyota Camry and left at the H.E. Holmes MARTA station.
Lockett was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole while Clark received two consecutive life sentences plus five years, Fulton County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Chris Hopper said. Green was sentenced to life plus three years, and Rooks and Gibson each received life sentences.
Prosecutors said Lockett lured Dean to a home he shared with his brother on Sandy Creek Drive in the fall of 2016 under the guise that he was there for a drug transaction.
Several men then attacked Dean, beating him with a 2-by-4 and a crowbar for more than an hour in an effort to “show other gang members that working as a police witness would not be tolerated,” the DA’s office said.
Investigators also said Dean was sodomized with a handle-like object and that seminal fluid was discovered inside his rectal cavity.
Rooks then drove from the scene to pick up two men — Green and Lamar Almon — who he paid to clean up the murder scene and dispose of Dean’s body, prosecutors said. After witnessing the “gruesome condition” of the body, however, the men decided instead to leave Dean’s body in the trunk of Lockett’s car at the MARTA station.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard called Dean’s murder “the most horrific death”in the county’s recent history.
Speaking during the sentencing, Dean’s father told the judge his two grandchildren must grow up without their dad.
“It was so very hard for me to tell a 5-year-old his daddy would never come home,” Larry Dean said through tears.
Almon and Gibson’s brother Orlando have not gone to trial for their alleged roles in the slaying. Dates for their cases have not been set.
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