2 gang members convicted in teen’s 2016 murder in NW Atlanta

Tyree Tabor (left), Donny Spear

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Two men have been convicted of a botched 2016 robbery and shooting that left a 16-year-old dead and another man injured, authorities said Friday.

Tyree Tabor, 25, and Donny Spear, 24, killed 16-year-old Nicholas Miller after arranging to buy a pound of marijuana, prosecutors said.

According to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, the men were gang members hoping to “send a message” to their victims by robbing them for selling marijuana in their territory.

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Tabor contacted 25-year-old Mar’Keil Leonard on Halloween of 2016 and arranged to buy marijuana at an apartment complex on Joseph E. Boone Boulevard, authorities said. Leonard was temporarily selling pot to supplement his family’s income after his wife lost her job, authorities said.

On his way to the drug deal, however, Leonard stopped to pick up 16-year-old Nicholas Miller, who was familiar with the neighborhood and knew both Tabor and Spear.

When they arrived at the complex, Tabor told Leonard to drive to the back of the neighborhood, where it was darker and more secluded, authorities said. He and Miller had no idea they were about to become the victims of an armed robbery.

After shaking hands, Tabor and Spear began to act suspicious, prompting Miller to call off the deal, prosecutors said. That’s when a third suspect, 33-year-old Vincent Evans, emerged with a long gun and told the two not to move.

Miller ran and Leonard sped away in his vehicle. As they ran, Tabor, Spear and Evans opened fire, shooting at least 20 rounds.

Leonard was struck by the gunfire but managed to escape before crashing into a dirt wall, AJC.com previously reported.

Two men have been convicted of a botched 2016 robbery and shooting that left a 16-year-old dead.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Miller was hit three times in the back and died of his injuries a month later, authorities said. According to police, the men fired an assault rifle, a 9 mm handgun and another unidentified pistol.

Spear was arrested in December 2016 and Tabor was taken into custody the following month after attempting to break into an ATM in Sandy Springs, police said.

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During Tabor’s arrest, a gun he was carrying matched the ballistics at the scene where Miller was killed, prosecutors said.

Tabor and Spear were convicted of murder, felony murder, criminal attempt to commit armed robbery, criminal attempt to purchase marijuana, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a first offender probationer.

Their sentencing hearing has not been scheduled.

Evans is also charged in the case, but he hasn’t been seen since he was released on a $50,000 bond in May 2018, prosecutors said. There is a bench warrant for his arrest, and he will be tried on murder charges once he is caught.

In other news: 

Family members said that Emerald Lynn, a mother of two, had just moved to Georgia last year and that her death has devastated the family.