DeKalb DA to seek death penalty for accused serial killer

DeKalb District Attorney Robert James said Monday he will seek the death penalty for an accused serial killer who police say confessed to the murders of a Cobb hairstylist in Decatur and three homeless men.

Aeman Presley, a 34-year-old unemployed actor, is charged with multiple felony counts, including malice murder, felony murder, armed robbery and aggravated assault in the death of Smyrna hairstylist Karen Pearce, according to an indictment. Pearce, 44, was confronted and shot while walking alone to her car in downtown Decatur on Dec. 6 after a dinner date with friends, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. The indictment states that Presley took her wallet.

In a separate indictment, Presley faces similar charges in connection with the death of 53-year-old Calvin Gholston, who was shot multiple times Sept. 27 in a breezeway at the Spring Mill Village shopping center on Memorial Drive in unincorporated Decatur. DeKalb police said they considered Gholston, who suffered from schizophrenia, to be homeless.

“These are two very senseless acts of violence that ended in the tragic loss of two lives,” James said in a statement. “In rare occasions do the egregious actions of an individual and nature of the alleged criminal act rise to the height when I deem it is appropriate and fitting to seek the death penalty.”

Presley had a loaded gun and additional ammunition when he was arrested Dec. 11 after trying to board a MARTA train without paying. MARTA officers searched Presley and found a silver Taurus revolver and a box of ammunition allegedly used to kill Pearce, Gholston and homeless men Dorian Jenkins and Tommy Mims.

Jenkins, 42, and Mims, 68, were shot multiple times during Thanksgiving week as they slept on Atlanta’s streets. A grand jury will hear the case at an unspecified future date, Fulton County Assistant District Attorney Michael Sprinkel said in January.

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