Man convicted of killing Publix employee with bat, stashing her body behind Waffle House

Jared Kemp

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Jared Kemp

One of two people charged with beating a 58-year-old grandmother to death and then leaving her body in the trunk of a car behind a Waffle House in south Fulton County has been convicted of murder.

Jared Kemp, 20, was convicted Thursday of killing Toni Abad, a Publix employee and grandmother of five, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office said.

Toni Abad was found dead in the trunk of her car in south Fulton County. 

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Authorities said Kemp and his girlfriend De’Asia Page, both 18 at the time, lured Abad to a secluded road in Fairburn where Kemp beat her to death with a baseball bat. The woman’s murder occurred just four days before Christmas in 2017.

Police said Page waited outside the Campbellton Fairburn Road grocery store where Abad worked until she got off that night. She then asked the woman for a ride, and Abad agreed.

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After driving Page about five miles to a small road off Cascade Palmetto Highway, Kemp emerged from the woods with a baseball bat in hand, police said. Prosecutors said they were attempted to steal her car before things escalated.

He broke the driver’s-side window where Abad was sitting and then struck the woman repeatedly. Prosecutors said Abad begged for her life, but Kemp killed her anyway.

He and Page then stashed the body in the trunk of her 2012 Ford Fusion, threw her cellphone into the woods and drove the vehicle to a nearby Waffle House, authorities said.

After parking behind the restaurant, Kemp and Page exited the car and fled the scene on foot, police said.

Her body was discovered by a Fulton County police lieutenant who responded to a call about the abandoned vehicle, prosecutors said. He checked the trunk after finding the keys sitting in the front seat, authorities said.

Authorities said Page later admitted her involvement in Abad’s murder to a security guard at a gas station near the crime scene.

De’Asia Page

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

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Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

After her arrest on Christmas Eve, Page reportedly named Kemp as her accomplice and provided detectives with details of the crime.

MORE: 18-year-old arrested in death of woman found in trunk of car

Kemp was later arrested.

Abad, a mother of four and grandmother of five, was described by her family as a caring woman who was always going out of her way to help others.

“On behalf of our entire family and friends, we are forever grateful for this verdict ... Thank you isn’t enough to show our extreme gratitude,” said Abad’s son, Michael Chamblee. “Mom was loved by so many, even more than she realized.”

MORE: Couple indicted, accused of killing Publix employee and leaving her near Waffle House 

Kemp was convicted of murder, felony murder, armed robbery, hijacking a motor vehicle in the first degree and aggravated assault. His sentencing is scheduled for Tuesday.

Page’s case has not gone to trial yet, prosecutors said.

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