Defendant shot victim in the heart with a 12-gauge shotgun
Atlanta–Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr., announces the MURDER conviction, by a Fulton County Superior Court Jury, of 30-year-old ANDREW NELOMS.
On November 1, 2016, Andrew Neloms, the defendant, and 43-year-old Octavius Brooks, the victim, were attending a block party in the parking lot outside the “C” building at the Brentwood Meadows Apartments on Alison Court in southwest Atlanta. Neloms confronted Brooks and claimed the victim had previously flirted with his girlfriend. Neloms walked away and entered apartment “1” of the “C” building. Meanwhile, Brooks walked over to a woman who was standing nearby to explain to her what happened during the altercation. Brooks then walked to his car which was parked nearby in the parking lot, opened the driver’s side door, and sat down in the front seat. He left the door open and sat with his legs hanging outside the car while listening to music. Moments later, Neloms approached the victim from the rear of the vehicle while carrying a 12-gauge shotgun in his hands. Neloms pointed the shotgun at the victim and fired two shots. One of the shots struck Brooks in the heart and the other struck the victim in the back. Neloms ran from the scene and disposed of the murder weapon. Brooks was found dead at the scene.
Atlanta Police found Brooks’ body in the front seat, his legs were still hanging out of the open front door, and he was bleeding profusely. The woman who Brooks talked to after the initial altercation with Neloms, told Atlanta Police Detective S. Benton that she saw Neloms carrying the 12-gauge shotgun. She said he approached Brooks’ vehicle from the rear driver’s side, pointed the gun at the victim, and as she turned to run, she heard the two shots. Detective S. Benton interviewed a friend who said he was with Neloms one month after the murder. That friend said Neloms bragged about killing Brooks and said he was on the run for the murder.
Neloms was arrested two months later, in January 2017, in Savannah, Georgia. He was transported to APD homicide where he was interviewed. Neloms admitted he confronted Brooks about flirting with his girlfriend. The defendant claimed he shot and killed the victim in self-defense during the shooting at the apartment complex. During the trial, Neloms unexpectedly testified in his own defense. He was asked by Fulton County Assistant District Attorney Adam Abbate, while testifying, to demonstrate to the jury how he shot Brooks on the day of the homicide. Using a replica shotgun to re-enact the crime, Neloms pulled the trigger, and in full view of the jury, he laughed.
Neloms has been a suspect in three separate murder cases. A Fulton County Superior Court Jury found him not guilty of the February 14, 2010, Valentine’s Day murder, of a female victim in Fulton County. Additionally, the State dropped a murder case against Neloms on March 10, 2015, after the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s granting of a motion to suppress a firearm found in Neloms’ bedroom. In total, Neloms has been arrested 17 times, seven of which were felonies. He has one previous FELONY conviction for ARSON that occurred in 2016. Because Neloms is a repeat offender, the state has asked for the defendant to receive LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE.
NELOMS was convicted of MURDER, FELONY MURDER, AGGRAVATED ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON, POSSESSION OF A FIREARM DURING THE COMMISSION OF A FELONY, AND POSSESSION OF A FIREARM BY A CONVICTED FELON. Neloms will be sentenced Wednesday, October 2, 2018.
Judge Doris L. Downs, of the Superior Court of Fulton County, presided over the case. Senior Assistant District Attorney Adam Abbate prosecuted the case. He was assisted by Assistant District Attorney Shaniqua Christian, Victim-Witness Advocate Ilona Rolack, and Investigator Fred Glenn, Jr. of the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. Detective S. Benton of the Atlanta Police Department was the Lead Investigator in the case.