THREE CONVICTED IN DRUG DEALER’S ‘REVENGE HIT’
Victim Shot Behind the Wheel of His Car, Two Year Old Passenger Also Injured
October 9, 2013
Atlanta– Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr. announces the conviction by guilty plea in the murder case against three hired ‘hit men.’ Just days before the scheduled start of trial, on Monday October 7, 2013, 27-year-old Eric Stone, the shooter, pled guilty as charged to Murder, Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, and Possession of a Firearm during a Felony. His accomplices, 25-year-old Richard Varner, the getaway driver, and 19-year-old Deandre Lowe, the man who coordinated the hit, each pled guilty during jury selection to Voluntary Manslaughter and Aggravated Assault in connection with the shooting death of 19-year-old Ladeddrick Love.
Love was gunned down on September 13, 2010 in the parking lot of a Texaco gas station in the 3000 block of Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive in Southwest Atlanta. The victim was sitting in the driver’s seat of his vehicle when a gunman fired shots from another car which quickly fled the scene. Love was struck four times in the chest and later died from his injuries. The victim’s two year old daughter who was a passenger in the car along with another child and the victim’s girlfriend was struck in the foot by one of the bullets. The child survived her injuries.
Surveillance video and Crime Stoppers tips led to the identification of Eric Stone as the shooter. The investigation revealed that Stone was hired to kill the victim to avenge a robbery the victim allegedly committed against a drug dealer. Three days before the fatal shooting, there was apparently another attempt on the victim’s life. A barrage of shots was fired into the apartment he shared with his girlfriend. No one was injured during that attempt, but shell casings from that scene matched the ones found on the night of the shooting outside of the gas station.
Following his guilty plea, Defendant Stone was sentenced to life plus five years in prison by presiding Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville. Defendants Varner and Lowe were sentenced to 30 years behind bars for their roles in the crime.
The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Adriane Love with assistance from ADA Joanna Helsby and DA Investigator Marshall English. Detectives B. Zimbrick and D. Quinn of the Atlanta Police Department led the initial investigation.