Gang members convicted for Atlanta home invasion, murder

Two gang members who shot three people during a 2016 home invasion, killing one of them, will spend the rest of their lives behind bars.

Thomas Cothran, 31, and Kahlieff Adams, 21, were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole plus an additional 55 years for murdering 27-year-old Anthony Chalmers inside his northwest Atlanta apartment during a robbery. 

Prosecutors said Cothran, Adams and two unidentified accomplices entered the Lanier Street apartment on Jan. 22, 2016. Chalmers knew the men well and allowed them in, police said.

Once inside, Cothran ordered Adams and the other two men to hold Chalmers and his friends, instructing them to shoot if they moved, authorities said.

Chalmers subsequently moved and was shot several times. He died on his kitchen floor, police said.

RELATED: Man killed during home robbery in NW Atlanta identified

Two brothers who were inside the apartment with Chalmers during the home invasion were also shot multiple times, but they survived. 

Prosecutors said a witness standing outside the apartment heard someone tell the men “don’t do it or I’m going to shoot you” just before shots rang out. 

Cothran, Adams and their accomplices stole marijuana from the apartment as well as thousands of dollars from Chalmers’ pockets before leaving. At the scene, police collected fourteen shell casings that were fired from four different guns. 

The surviving victims were able to identify Cothran, who was arrested several weeks later at a Decatur hotel, police said. 

Once in jail, Cothran made calls to Adams warning him to leave the area before he got arrested, prosecutors said. He also penned a letter to one of his victims from his cell, instructing him to recant what he told police about the home invasion.

“Do the right thing,” the letter read. “You know what happens to snitches.”

Cothran and Adams were convicted on one count each of murder, felony murder, participation in criminal street gang activity, first-degree home invasion, armed robbery, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, burglary, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

In other news: 

The controversial bill, nicknamed the “Heartbeat Bill,” passed in the Georgia House of Representatives last week for the final time and is now awaiting the governor’s signature.

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