First defendant convicted in Atlanta rapper’s recording studio killing

Note: This story has been updated to include the defendant’s correct age.

The first of three defendants to face trial for a fatal 2016 shooting at a southwest Atlanta recording studio has been convicted, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office said.

A jury found Casey Battle, 21, guilty of felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, second-degree burglary, criminal attempt to commit armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. He was found not guilty of malice murder.

After his Dec. 19 conviction, Battle was sentenced to life in prison plus five years, with the possibility of parole.


PREVIOUSLY | Two man now on trial in deadly 2016 Atlanta rap studio shooting


Battle, Sheldon Dooley and Kenson Hunte were all charged in 28-year-old aspiring rapper Jerome Blake’s April 2016 shooting death. Nathan Hannon, 27, was also killed in the shootout; police have said Shannon ambushed the studio with Battle and Dooley. Hunte was involved in the attack but was not at the studio during the shooting, according to police.

The intended target was a rapper known as “Blood,” detectives have said. Battle told investigators Hunte wanted him to get $50,000 in cash and a chain back from Blood. Battle, Hannon and Dooley confronted Blood and Blake at the Headquarters recording studio on Metropolitan Parkway and a shootout ensued, leaving Shannon and Battle dead, according to police.

Battle was initially scheduled to be tried alongside Dooley, but Dooley and Battle's cases were separated and Dooley will face trial at a later date, according to the DA's office. Hunte will also face his own trial in the future.

The case has been featured on the A&E true crime series "The First 48," which follows the first 48 hours of police investigations.


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