DeKalb gang member gets life in brutal motel slaying

A member of the Bloods street gang avoided a possible death sentence Friday, accepting a plea deal that will put him behind bars for the rest of his life, plus 25 years.

Darrius Aderhold, 25, was the last of three suspects sentenced in the 2012 brutal beating of 46-year-old Robert Ross, targeted because he was gay, say prosecutors.

Aderhold and co-defendants Jonathan Ray and Christopher Foreman encountered Ross in Midtown, asking him for a ride back to a motel room they had reserved in Tucker, DeKalb Deputy Chief District Attorney Anna Cross said during sentencing. Once they got there they tied Ross to a chair and beat him with a clothes iron, part of Foreman’s initiation into the Bloods.

“Almost every bone in his face was broken, his skull crushed,” Cross said.

His body was so badly mutilated that when paramedicsarrived they could not determine his sex or race. Ray and Foreman previously accepted plea deals and were sentenced to life in prison.

“I want to apologize for victim’s family for a situation that shouldn’t have taken place,” Aderhold said during sentencing. “I’m not asking for their forgiveness because I don’t think they should. I just feel in my heart I should say I’m sorry.”

Check myajc.com later this afternoon for the complete story, including interviews with Ross’ sisters, who flew in from Chicago to attend sentencing.

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.