Gang member sentenced to 30 years in prison

The last member of a loosely knit gang pleaded guilty Wednesday to killing a man and various other crimes in south DeKalb County that were committed so that DA FAM gang and its members could prosper financially.

The 22-year-old Rand Jeter will spend at least the next three decades in prison.

"It pains me every time I see a young life lost to the cemetery or to the prison system," District Attorney Robert James said.

Twelve men were named in a 95-count indictment returned two years ago. By then five others had already been indicted for DA FAM activities. Most of the 17 tied to the gang pleaded guilty last year, receiving prison sentences for as long as 30 years.

James said he believes Jeter was the last gang member. While he can't be certain DA FAM had been shut down, there is no evidence that there are any more members free, James said.

Jeter's case was complicated in that Judge Dan Coursey was taking his plea on two separate cases. One was for Jeter's gang activity and the other was for shooting a man 17 times. For his plea to violating the state's Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, Jeter was sentenced to 20 years in prison and 20 years probation. For shooting Charles Patton 17 times with a 9 mm handgun on May 11, 2009, Jeter was sentenced to 30 years in prison for manslaughter plus 20 years probation.

The sentences will be served concurrently.

"I seen the victim while I was making a drug transaction," Jeter told the judge when asked for details of Patton's death. "I fired first on him."

Prosecutors said many of the DA FAM crimes were part an on-going battle with another "hybrid" gang, the Black Mob.

DA FAM concentrated it drug dealing and violence mostly around the Crestview Apartments, according to assistant district attorney Matt McCoyd. Jeter and other gang members would respond to looks from rivals with gunfire or beatings, sometimes using an the butt of an AK 47 like a bat.

On April 30, 2009, Robert Gibbs was Jeter's target.

"Mr. Jeter opened fire 24 times on him because Mr. Gibbs looked at him and he thought Mr. Gibbs was going to shoot him," McCoyd said.

Only one bullet his Gibbs' car and Gibbs was not wounded.

Defense attorney Robbin Shipp-Matos said Jeter had "accepted responsibility for all his actions."

She said Gibbs became involved in the drug trade when he was 17 and he would use significant amounts of ecstasy and marijuana every day. She said that he has since been diagnosed as being bipolar. No longer abusing drugs and with his metal illness addressed, Shipp-Matos said her client was "amiable and respectful."