Suspect in Atlanta bartender’s shooting death had spent 7 years in custody



DeMarcus Brinkley, accused of kidnapping and killing an Atlanta bartender last week, previously spent seven years behind bars, including more than four years in prison following a conviction for child molestation, records show. He was released from prison less than a year ago.

Brinkley, 27, was charged over the weekend with murder in the shooting death of Mariam Abdulrab, Atlanta police said. Investigators believe Abdularab was kidnapped early Friday in southeast Atlanta and shot to death shortly thereafter. She was also 27.

Brinkley also is charged with aggravated assault, false imprisonment, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, Atlanta police said.

In October 2011, Brinkley, then 17, was arrested and charged with solicitation for an illegal sex act, according to police reports obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In 2012, while a student at South Atlanta High School, Brinkley was accused of stealing a teacher’s iPod, according to police.



In July 2012, a woman told investigators that Brinkley had raped her daughter, who was approximately 7, a police report states. In November 2013, another woman told police she caught Brinkley — who she knew only as her brother’s friend “Pimp” — trying to rape her 5-year-old daughter.

One week later, Brinkley was arrested and charged with aggravated child molestation, child molestation, criminal attempt to commit rape and first-degree cruelty to children, records show. It would be the last time he was a free man until November 2020, records show.

In August 2014, Brinkley’s attorney said he was not competent to stand trial, court filings show.

“He is incompetent to stand trial because he does not have sufficient mental capacity to understand the nature and object of the proceedings against him, his own condition in reference to such proceedings, nor the capacity to render assistance to counsel in the defense of his case,” attorney Ronnie Poole wrote at the time.

Brinkley later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 15 years in prison to serve seven, according to court records. He was given credit for the time he had already served. In April 2016, he was transferred from the Fulton jail to Ware State Prison in Waycross. Brinkley served until November 2020, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections. After being released, Brinkley was placed on the Georgia Sex Offender Registry.

Authorities have not publicly discussed a possible motive in last week’s kidnapping and shooting.

Abdulrab’s loved ones remember her as a “bright light” and “living jewel.”

The bartender at Revery VR Bar in Midtown, she was returning to her home in Chosewood Park in southeast Atlanta in the early morning hours Friday when she was kidnapped outside her house at gunpoint, her friends told police.

A witness called 911 around 5 a.m. Friday after seeing a woman being forced into an SUV at gunpoint, according to Atlanta. While police were still investigating the kidnapping, another 911 call came in an hour later reporting gunfire in the area of Lakewood Avenue and Terrace Way. Investigators determined the calls were related.

A witness spotted Abdulrab’s body nearly four hours later, as police were preparing to canvass the area. According to the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office, she had been shot multiple times.

Brinkley was identified as a person of interest and Atlanta police requested help from state troopers in stopping his SUV, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

Griffin police officers joined the pursuit on N. Hill Street, the State Patrol said. At the intersection with Quilly Street, Brinkley struck a gold Buick, investigators said. Both drivers were flown to Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center for treatment. No information was available Monday on the driver of the Buick.

Brinkley remained in the hospital Monday and was in stable condition, according to police. Once he is released, he will be booked into the Fulton jail. The Georgia State Patrol also plans to file traffic charges, an agency spokesman said.

Outside Revery, a memorial for Abulrab grew on Monday. She also sometimes worked at quirky Edgewood bar Church, where manager Dillon Knight would watch Abdulrab bound through the door for her shifts, her enthusiasm effervescent and contagious. He said she was funny, quirky and disarming.

“Everyone looked forward to seeing Mariam at work, on both sides of the bar,” Knight said. “She was a hard worker with a great finesse for making people feel welcome and appreciated. She had a huge heart and would go well out of her way to help out or provide for folks.”

Like others, Knight remembered the “bright light” that seemed to radiate from Abdulrab.

An Atlanta rapper known as Germ turned to social media to honor Abdulrab, who he called his best friend.


Funeral arrangements have not been publicly announced.

— Staff writers Joshua Sharpe and Chelsea Prince contributed to this article.