Man sentenced to two life sentences in 2016 murder at Atlanta rap studio

Second defendant sentenced in fatal shooting

The second of three defendants to face trial for a fatal 2016 shooting at a southwest Atlanta recording studio was convicted and sentenced Wednesday in Fulton County.

Sheldon Dooley was convicted Wednesday on 14 counts related to the shooting, including murder, felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and criminal attempt to commit armed robbery in the death of Jerome Blake. A Fulton County jury found Dooley guilty on all counts.

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Dooley was sentenced to two life sentences plus 45 years by Superior Court Judge Shukura Ingram.

“The love Mr. Blake’s family have for him has been evident by their presence in the courtroom throughout the entire trial,” Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said. “It is a shame that their loved one was so cruelly taken from them during an armed robbery. I wish them love and strength, and hope that this verdict provides some sense of justice for Jerome Blake’s family and friends.”

Dooley, along with three men, went into HQ Recordings on Metropolitan Parkway with the intention to rob Caleb Sims. During the robbery, Blake, an aspiring rapper, and one of the gunmen, Nathan Hannon, were killed.

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Multiple men entered The Metropolitan, a complex of residential and commercial spaces, through an unlocked door one by one, some with handguns, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Co-defendant Casey Battle was convicted in 2018 of felony murder, aggravated assault and other charges and sentenced to life plus five years with the possibility of parole, while co-defendant Kenson Hunte has not yet been tried, according to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.

According to court documents, Hunte’s case was placed on judicial hold in April because he is in federal custody and unavailable for prosecution.

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The shooting was featured on A&E’s “The First 48″ in 2017. The episode, “Deadly Rap” alleged that Hunte, “a local big shot” also known as Rich Show, was involved with the shooting but not at the studio when it happened. Battle was said to have been inside the recording studio and let the other gunmen in.

Patrick Blake, Blake’s father and administrator of the estate of Jerome Baker, filed a lawsuit against Candler Warehouses, which owns, operates and manages The Metropolitan, and Eagle Eye Protection, which was responsible for providing security and patrols for the premises, in 2017 before it was dismissed without prejudice in February 2018.

Blake re-filed the lawsuit against Candler Warehouses and Eagle Eye Protection in April 2018. The case is still pending.