Guilty verdict for DeKalb man who hired bumbling hit man

Man killed wrong target; left cell phone at crime scene

A DeKalb County man was convicted Monday for hiring a hit man who killed the wrong target.

Antiwan Dontabiya Lane was found guilty of murder, felony murder – committing a felony that leads to a person’s death – and criminal solicitation for his part in the 2011 killing of Ivan Perez, Channel 2 Action News reported.

Prosecutors said Lane, 36, believed his wife was sleeping with Hector Gonzalez, and contracted Kevin Stallworth to kill Gonzalez.

But Stallworth shot Gonzalez’s cousin, Perez, outside a Dunwoody apartment building on Dec. 26, 2011, then left evidence that pointed back to Lane, prosecutors said.

“He’s the one who put this in motion,” DeKalb County Assistant District Attorney Robert Statham III said Monday of Lane during closing arguments. “He hired a dumb guy who was stupid enough to shoot the wrong guy … stupid enough to drop his phone at the scene.”

Investigators used Stallworth’s phone to track hundreds of phone calls and incriminating text messages exchanged with Lane in the run-up to the shooting, police said during testimony.

Lane’s attorney, Max Richardson Jr., said Stallworth was a drug addict out to rob Perez.

“He’s a liar,” Richardson told the jury of Stallworth during closing arguments Monday.

Stallworth, 31, pleaded guilty to murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and gun charges, Channel 2 reported, and awaits sentencing.

Sentencing for Lane will be set at a later date.

Both men are being held at the DeKalb County jail.