Man gets life plus 10 years in DeKalb BP murder

A man found guilty of killing a DeKalb County convenience store clerk was sentenced last week to life plus 10 years in prison.

Earlin Lee Turner was convicted of murder, aggravated assault, two gun possession charges and multiple counts of felony murder in the 2012 shooting death of Damodar "Pete" Pathak.

A DeKalb County jury last week deliberated for roughly 30 minutes before finding Turner, 52, guilty of all charges, court officials said.

About 11:30 p.m. Jan. 9, 2012, Turner and Cuevin Stringer walked into the BP convenience store on Cedar Grove Road near Conley, prosecutors said.

Stringer testified during the trial last week that he walked to the store with Turner to buy cigarettes.

Turner, who was intoxicated, walked to the game room in the back of the store while Stringer made a purchase, authorities said.

Prosecutors said when Pathak went to the back room to ask Turner to leave, Turner produced a hand gun and shot Pathak twice in the chest, puncturing his lung.

Pathak fought with Turner for the gun, and the two continued to struggle until they got outside the store. There, Turner fired a third shot before running away from the scene.

Pathak died from the injury to his lungs, authorities said.

Investigators called to the scene later found Turner’s hoodie nearby and determined through DNA testing that blood found on the sweatshirt belonged to Pathak, prosecutors said.

Joseph Pryor, another clerk working at the BP that night, said Turner pointed the gun at him while leaving the store. Pryor called police and later identified Turner in a lineup, prosecutors said.

Police circulated photos and video of both Turner and Stringer after the shooting to media. When Stringer saw himself on TV, he surrendered to investigators, prosecutors said.

Stringer told police that he wasn’t aware Turner was armed, and video footage from store security cameras showed that Stringer wasn’t involved in the shooting, authorities said.

Police arrested Turner on Jan. 11, 2012, authorities said.

Turner, who had been held without bond after his arrest at the DeKalb County Jail, will now be turned over to the custody of the Georgia Department of Corrections.