16-year-old gets life in prison after marijuana deal turns deadly in Gwinnett

Two teenagers were found dead in July 2022 in a lakefront neighborhood in Gwinnett County.



Two teenagers were found dead in July 2022 in a lakefront neighborhood in Gwinnett County.

Le’Quan Dempsey used his own social media account to arrange to buy marijuana from teenagers in a Gwinnett County neighborhood last year, according to investigators.

But when the 16-year-old arrived in the neighborhood bordering Norris Lake shortly after 12:30 a.m. on July 21, 2022, he fired multiple shots, killing John Pendrack, 17, of Snellville, and Aiden Reynolds, 19, of Conyers, police said after the incident.

On Monday, Dempsey was convicted of murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, according to the Gwinnett district attorney. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

It was Dempsey’s social media account that led investigators to their suspect, the DA’s office said.

Gwinnett police Sgt. Brian Pierson was able to determine that Dempsey, who lives in Avondale Estates, used his account to contact the two teens. Authorities then tracked him to a nearby home. In September, Dempsey was charged in the case.

“The defendant claimed he was not involved or present and was in DeKalb County during the killings,” the DA’s office said in a news release. “However, through the use of cellular phone records, social media records and eyewitness accounts, Sgt. Pierson was able to prove the defendant was lying and obtained warrants for the defendant for his participation in the killings.”

Debra McCoy, the mother of Reynolds, told Channel 2 Action News after the killings that the two victims were best friends.

“From the minute they met it was, that was it, they were brothers,” McCoy said.

Dempsey had been held at a regional youth detention center because of his age, according to police.