Friday, April 11, 2014
MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO VICIOUS SHOOTING DEATH OF EX-GIRLFIREND IN MILTON PARKING LOT
Victim Gunned Down in Front of Couple’s Young Children
Atlanta– A Cumming man has been sentenced to life without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to killing his former girlfriend in broad daylight. During plea proceedings Friday before Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter, 27-year-old Chrirstopher Erdman pleaded guilty as indicted to charges of Murder, Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Stalking, Cruelty to Children and weapons offenses for the shooting death of 25-year-old Shannon Lawrence.
Ms. Lawrence was shot and killed on June 5, 2011 in the parking lot of the Birmingham Highway Wells Fargo Bank in Milton. Lawrence had driven there with her two young children, ages one and two, to exchange custody with the Defendant. During their exchange, Erdman grew angry and pulled a gun firing four shots at Ms. Lawrence. She was struck in the pelvis, lungs and twice in the back of the head while lying on the ground. The horrific episode happened in plain view of the couple’s young children. Following the shooting, Defendant Erdman drove the victim’s body to a Cumming Hospital and later told police he shot his ex-girlfriend because she threatened him with a knife.
The State had filed notice to seek the death penalty against Erdman. However, after extensive discussions with the victim’s family who was anxious to bring closure to this painful chapter in their lives, the State agreed to accept a plea that carried a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Sheila Ross, head of the Violent Offenders Unit, with assistance from Senior ADA Lenny Krick and DA Investigator Chuck Martin. Lt. Charles Barstow of the Milton Police Department led the initial investigation.