District Attorney in Middle Georgia called Fulton DA to express his sincere appreciation
Atlanta–Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr., announces the MURDER conviction, by a Fulton County Superior Court Jury, of 24-year-old DENZEL ATKINS.
On Tuesday, December 22, 2015, Denzel Atkins contacted his friend Harold Foster. Atkins and Foster lived in Vidalia, Georgia, but that day, Atkins asked Foster if he desired to travel with him to Atlanta to “make some money.” Foster agreed, and Atkins drove the two of them to Atlanta in Foster’s girlfriend’s gray car.
When they arrived in Atlanta, Atkins contacted 22-year-old Elijah Wallace. Atkins previously met Wallace in Statesboro, Georgia while Wallace was a student at Georgia Southern University. Atkins asked Wallace to meet him under the guise of a marijuana deal. Atkins was aware that Wallace sold marijuana and would likely be carrying a significant amount of cash.
Atkins and Foster arrived at a location along Astor Avenue in Atlanta to meet Wallace. Wallace entered the rear passenger seat of the vehicle Atkins was driving. Wallace immediately handed Atkins a book bag that contained marijuana and $20,000.00 in cash. Wallace noticed that a 9mm handgun was lying in Atkins’ lap. The victim complemented the defendant’s handgun and then showed Atkins the gun he was carrying. Atkins opened the backpack to confirm it contained marijuana and cash, and then the defendant subsequently pointed his handgun at Wallace and fired 13 times. Wallace died from gunshot wounds to his head, torso, and extremities.
Atkins proceeded to drive the vehicle to a nearby intersection along Campbellton Road where he dumped Wallace’s body. Atkins and Foster then immediately drove back to Vidalia. Atkins and Foster attempted to dispose of the victim’s shoe, phone, and gun when they tossed the items out of the car window. The defendants also threw Atkins’ gun and their shirts along Interstate 20. When they returned to Vidalia, Atkins informed Foster’s girlfriend of what had occurred and said they intended to burn her car. Foster’s girlfriend later called police and reported that her car was stolen. On December 23, 2015, the gray car was discovered in Montgomery, Alabama, and it appeared that someone attempted to burn the vehicle. Foster was arrested in Decatur, Georgia on January 20, 2016. On March 2, 2016, Atkins was arrested in Savannah, Georgia. The defendant was hiding in a friend’s attic.
In 2014, a year prior to the incident in Fulton County, Atkins was tried before a jury in the Middle Judicial Circuit of Georgia for a murder that occurred in Candler County. However, the jury deadlocked, and Atkins was not convicted. District Attorney Hayward Altman, from the Middle Judicial Circuit of Georgia, called the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday to personally express his gratitude for obtaining a conviction in this case.
“I would like to express my deep appreciation to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office for their hard work in obtaining a murder conviction in the case against Denzel Atkins. We believe Atkins has been involved in the robberies and murders of four to five victims in our area. This defendant has terrorized our community for far too long, and we truly applaud the work of the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office and all of the GBI and Atlanta Police investigators who worked diligently to bring this defendant to justice.”
District Attorney of the Middle Judicial Circuit of Georgia
The case against Harold Foster is still active and pending in Fulton County Superior Court and will be disposed of at a later time.
ATKINS was convicted of MURDER, FELONY MURDER, ARMED ROBBERY, AGGRAVATED ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON, CRIMINAL ATTEMPT TO PURCHASE MARIJUANA, and POSSESSION OF A FIREARM DURING THE COMMISSION OF A FELONY.
ATKINS was sentenced to
Life in Prison without the Possibility of Parole plus an additional Life Sentence plus 15 Years
Judge Shawn Ellen LaGrua, of the Superior Court of Fulton County, presided over the case. Deputy District Attorney Adam Abbate led the prosecution of the case. He was assisted by Assistant District Attorney Siri Patel, Chief Deputy Investigator Johnna Griffin, Investigator Mike Green, and Victim-Witness Advocate Millicent Taylor of the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. Investigator H. Griffin from the Atlanta Police Department was the Lead Investigator in the case.