Atlanta Police Department utilized new and old technology to identify murder suspect

Atlanta–Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr., announces the MURDER conviction, by a Fulton County Superior Court Jury, of 23-year-old JOUSHA ROUTH.

On September 10, 2017, around 11:00pm, 36-year-old Saiful Bhuyia, the owner of Southern Grocery along Westview Drive in the West End of Atlanta, and 20-year-old Rizanul Islam, his employee, had just closed the store for the evening and entered Bhuyia’s vehicle in the parking lot when a white car pulled up with its headlights off.

Jousha Routh and two unidentified assailants were inside the car. Routh jumped from the vehicle and ran to the driver’s side door of Bhuyia’s vehicle and immediately demanded money. Bhuyia accelerated in an attempt to flee the scene when Routh fired two shots from a .40 caliber Glock handgun through the driver’s side window. Bhuyia was struck in the upper back and lower neck areas and died at the scene. Islam was struck in the head and died a few days later at Grady Memorial Hospital. Routh and the two unidentified assailants fled the scene. When Atlanta Police Investigators arrived they discovered $1,400.00 cash in store proceeds inside Bhuyia’s vehicle.

When the Atlanta Police Department arrived at the scene, investigators were left with little evidence as to who committed this brutal crime. They immediately processed Bhuyia’s car at the scene. Later, Atlanta Police Investigators determined it was Routh’s left palm print that was located upon the outside of the vehicle. Atlanta Police identified Routh as the prime suspect, and his phone records were ordered and examined. The records placed Routh near the scene shortly before the homicide.

The Atlanta Police Department also utilized licensed plate reader technology to track the vehicle driven by Routh and the two unidentified assailants. Atlanta Police Investigators learned that the vehicle belonged to Routh’s girlfriend. Atlanta Police also obtained surveillance video from the outside of Bhuyia’s store. Atlanta Police showed the video to Routh’s girlfriend, and she identified her boyfriend in the surveillance video. Routh was later arrested.

Bhuyia migrated to the United States from Bangladesh in search of a better life. Bhuyia was married and had two children. He was a well-respected business owner in his neighborhood and is missed by a large, tight-knit Bangladeshi community in Atlanta. Islam had recently migrated to Atlanta prior to his death, and Bhuyia offered him a job as an opportunity to establish himself in the United States.

“I will continue to stress the need for and importance of providing investigative resources to our area police departments, particularly those that are based upon scientific-related technology. As evidenced by the tremendous work of the Atlanta Police Department in the conviction of Jousha Routh, when provided with the proper resources, our law enforcement agencies are better positioned to succeed, and these highly successful results become routine.”

Paul L. Howard, Jr.
Fulton County District Attorney

ROUTH was convicted of FELONY MURDER, CRIMINAL ATTEMPT TO COMMIT ARMED ROBBERY, AGGRAVATED ASSAULT, CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO PROPERTY, and POSSESSION OF A FIREARM DURING THE COMMISSION OF A FELONY.

ROUTH was sentenced to
(2) Life Sentences Consecutive Plus 35 Years

Judge Emily Richardson, of the Superior Court of Fulton County, presided over the case. Senior Assistant District Attorney Deah Warren led the prosecution of the case. She was assisted by Assistant District Attorney John Weitnauer, Investigator Glenn Cross, and Victim-Witness Advocate Careese Davis of the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. Investigator C. Thomas from the Atlanta Police Department was the lead investigator in this case.