Defendants beat the victim and then fatally shot him once

Atlanta–Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr., announces the MURDER conviction, by guilty plea, of 28-year-old FREDRICK STEPHENSON and 32-year-old WAYNE FINNIE.

On March 20, 2018, around 3:00am, Wayne Finnie and Fredrick Stephenson were involved in a verbal altercation with 26-year-old Elliott Johnson in the parking lot of the Valero gas station located along Fulton Industrial Boulevard in Atlanta. The argument stemmed from Finnie and Stephenson’s frustration over the fact that Johnson did not desire to purchase their illegal narcotics in an area they considered to be their “turf.”

The argument escalated when Finnie punched Johnson and the victim fell to the ground. When Johnson attempted to stand, Stephenson struck Johnson with his pistol. Stephenson then proceeded to shoot Johnson with his 9mm handgun. Johnson died at the scene. The victim did not possess a weapon nor did he start the fight which led to his death. Johnson was simply at the Valero location to fix a flat tire on a friend’s vehicle. Stephenson and Finnie fled the scene, but the defendants were identified by individuals who witnessed the shooting. Stephenson and Finnie were arrested in June 2018 in North Carolina. 

“They left a gaping hole in our family. Elliott was a loving son, father, and uncle. That hole will never be filled. I hope the defendants take time in custody to reflect on the irreversible effects that their actions on March 20, 2018, have had on my family. My family is forever changed.”

Jenese Hill
Elliott Johnson’s Mother

Stephenson and Finnie are both convicted felons who received First Offender Status under Georgia’s First Offender Act. Stephenson was also convicted of Theft by Taking in Fulton County on April 12, 2017.

STEPHENSON AND FINNIE both pleaded guilty to the entire indictment and were convicted of MURDER, FELONY MURDER, AGGRAVATED ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON, AGGRAVATED ASSAULT, POSSESSION OF A FIREARM DURING THE COMMISSION OF A FELONY, and POSSESSION OF A FIREARM BY A CONVICTED FELON (Stephenson Only).

STEPHENSON was sentenced to
Life in Prison Plus 5 Years

FINNIE was sentenced to
35 Years in Prison

Judge Henry Newkirk, 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 Elyce Loutzenhsier, Investigator Fred Glenn, Jr., and Victim-Witness Advocate James Williams of the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. Investigator J. Wooten from the Fulton County Police Department was the lead investigator in this case.