A sixth suspect has been convicted in the brutal killing of a police witness who was tortured, sodomized and shot twice in the back of the head before his body was stuffed into the trunk of a Toyota Camry and left at the H.E. Holmes MARTA station.
Shakur Wright, 23, pleaded guilty Thursday to killing two people and shooting a third during a monthslong crime spree in 2016, prosecutors said.
He’s one of eight people accused of killing 33-year-old Christopher Dean at an Atlanta home after discovering that he was once a police witness in California, authorities said.
Prosecutors said members of the Gangster Disciples lured Dean to a home on Sandy Creek Drive in October 2016 under the guise that he was there for a drug transaction.
Several men then attacked Dean, beating him with a 2-by-4 and a crowbar for more than an hour in an effort to “show other gang members that working as a police witness would not be tolerated,” the DA’s office said.
Investigators also said Dean was sodomized with a handle-like object and that seminal fluid was discovered inside his rectal cavity.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard called the murder “the most horrific death”in the county’s recent history.
Speaking during a sentencing hearing for Wright’s co-defendants last April, Dean’s father told the judge his two grandchildren must grow up without their dad.
“It was so very hard for me to tell a 5-year-old his daddy would never come home,” Larry Dean said through tears.
Five men received life sentences without the possibility of parole for Dean’s murder: Christopher Lockett, Xavier Gibson, Quatez Clark, Joshua Rooks and Jasper Green.
Two others, Orlando Gibson and Lamar Almon, are still awaiting trial in the case, said Chris Hopper, spokesman for the DA’s office.
In addition to Dean’s murder, Wright was convicted of the October 2016 killing of 28-year-old Benjamin Thompson at a home on Markone Street, authorities said.
In that case, a friend of Thompson’s got into a fight with one of Wright’s associates, prosecutors said. As the men fought, Wright pulled out a handgun and shot Thompson in the chest.
Wright also pleaded guilty to an April 2016 armed robbery in which he and a friend robbed and shot a high school acquaintance outside a convenience store on Donnelly Avenue. Police said after punching the 23-year-old in the face until he fell to the ground, Wright pulled out a handgun and fired multiple shots, grazing the man in the head. The second suspect, Derek Boston, is still awaiting trial in that case.
At the sentencing Thursday, friends and family members of Wright’s victims urged the judge to keep him behind bars for the rest of his life.
Wright pleaded guilty to murder, felony murder, participating in illegal street gang activity, armed robbery, aggravated assault, concealing the death of another, tampering with evidence and criminal attempt to purchase marijuana.
He was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences plus 40 years, which amounts to a 100-year prison sentence, authorities said.
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