Defendant stole victim’s marijuana, attempted to sell it minutes after murder
Atlanta–Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr., announces the MURDER conviction, by a Fulton County Superior Court Jury, of 22-year-old WILLIAM FORD.
In the afternoon of August 4, 2017, William Ford contacted an acquaintance to inquire about purchasing marijuana. The acquaintance was busy, so he told Ford to reach out to 25-year-old Travion Gill. That evening, Ford arrived at Gill’s home on Browns Mill Road Southeast in Atlanta with the intention of robbing the victim at gunpoint. Ford’s plan was to steal Gill’s marijuana and then sell it to a potential buyer, so he could earn enough money to pay back rent to his landlord, which Ford promised he would complete by the end of the week. Ford realized when he entered the home that his plan may not be as simple as he once thought. Gill was carrying a handgun in his pocket, so Ford shot Gill in the head with a 9mm handgun when the victim turned his back to weigh the marijuana the defendant claimed he desired to purchase. The victim died at the scene, and Ford left the home with his handgun and a black bag containing 6.3 ounces of marijuana, which he placed in the trunk of his vehicle. 15 minutes after murdering Gill, Ford boldly texted potential customers to see if they were willing to purchase the marijuana he stole from the victim.
In the early morning hours of August 5, 2017, Gill’s girlfriend discovered the victim’s body inside his home. Atlanta Police Detective S. Berhalter arrived at the scene and spoke to a neighbor across the street. The neighbor said he was working outside his home on August 6, 2017, when Ford, who was driving a dark grey Ford Fusion, pulled into his driveway. Ford asked the neighbor if he had an “ounce” and the neighbor said the defendant was acting “fidgety and geeked up.” The neighbor told Ford to leave, and a short time later the neighbor heard a gunshot emanate from Gill’s home across the street. The neighbor then witnessed Ford place a black bag in his trunk and drive away in the dark grey Ford Fusion.
The neighbor maintained working surveillance cameras upon the outside of his home which captured Ford’s arrival and departure from Gill’s residence around the time the neighbor heard the gunshot. The neighbor identified Ford in a photo lineup, as did the acquaintance who originally directed Ford to reach out to Gill about purchasing marijuana. The APD Fugitive Unit arrested Ford at his job in Cobb County on August 9, 2017. They located a Beretta 9mm pistol under the driver’s seat of the defendant’s vehicle as well as a black bag, containing 6.3 ounces of marijuana, in the trunk. The shell casing at the murder scene matched the gun in Ford’s possession.
FORD was convicted of MURDER, FELONY MURDER, ARMED ROBBERY, AGGRAVATED ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON, POSSESSION OF A FIREARM BY FIRST OFFENDER PROBATIONER, POSSESSION OF A FIREARM DURING THE COMMISSION OF A FELONY, AND BURGLARY IN THE FIRST DEGREE.
Ford was sentenced to
Life in Prison Without Parole + 10 Years in Prison.
Judge Rebecca Crumrine Rieder, of the Superior Court of Fulton County, presided over the case. Senior Assistant District Attorney Adriane Love led the prosecution of the case. She was assisted by Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Daily, Investigator Glenn Cross, and Victim-Witness-Advocate Ilona Rolack of the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. Detective S. Berhalter from the Atlanta Police Department was the Lead Investigator in this case.