Friday, January 10, 2014

Victim Gunned Down While Trying to Escape

Atlanta– Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr. announces the conviction by jury trial in the murder case against two men.  Jurors returned guilty verdicts Friday morning against 26-year-old Freedell Benton and 22-year-old Quantavious Guffie on charges of Murder, Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault and weapons offenses in connection with the shooting death of 24-year-old Drexel Berry.

Berry was fatally shot on May 29, 2013. He was lured to the courtyard of a Cooper Street apartment complex by the defendants under the premise of buying marijuana. Once the men had the victim cornered, they confronted him about a previous shooting that left an acquaintance paralyzed. Mr. Berry was implicated in that earlier shooting but not charged as the gunman. Following the confrontation, Berry attempted to run away from the defendants. The men fired as many as eleven shots, striking the victim three times in his leg, arm and back. He ran a short distance and then collapsed in the 500 block of nearby Pryor Street—leaving a trail of blood behind him. He died a short a time later at Grady Memorial Hospital. Defendants Guffie and Benton were later identified as the shooters through anonymous tips.

Following their convictions, each was sentenced to life without parole plus five years by presiding Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney.

The case was prosecuted by Chief Senior Assistant District Attorney Pat Dutcher with assistance from ADA Michael Bernard and DA Investigator Terence Wise. Detective D. Smith of the Atlanta Police Department led the initial investigation.

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