Defendant admitted to the plot on an audio recording
Atlanta–Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr., announces the MURDER conviction, by a Fulton County Superior Court Jury, of CORNELIUS EDWARDS, 28, in the shooting death of 28-year-old BILLY FAVORS.
Cornelius Edwards and Billy Favors were best friends for the better part of 10 years, but ironically Edwards’ plan on December 13, 2016, ended up killing his longtime friend, Favors. Edwards was a known marijuana dealer in the Atlanta neighborhood where he lived, and on December 13, 2016, Edwards and Favors conspired to rob two men at gunpoint under the guise of a drug deal. At 5:00pm, Marvin Goodman and Delvin Phillips went to a residence on Holly Street in Atlanta to purchase marijuana from Edwards, the defendant. When they arrived, Edwards directed Goodman and Phillips to “apartment 10” to complete the deal. When they entered the apartment, Billy Favors suddenly appeared with a gun and tried to rob Goodman and Phillips. At that point, Phillips brandished his own firearm and a shootout ensued. Goodman did not have a gun, but Phillips and Favors both fired their weapons multiple times. Phillips was shot twice in the arm and chest but survived the shooting. Favors was also shot in the chest and arm, but he died at the scene.
Goodman and Phillips both gave taped statements and picked Edwards out of a photo lineup as the person who led them into the apartment as part of the armed robbery scheme. Sometime after Favors death, Edwards called one of Favors’ relatives to ask if he could attend the funeral. That relative recorded the phone conversation, and Edwards admitted the plan was to rob Goodman and Phillips at gunpoint. Under Georgia law, Edwards was a party to the crime of felony murder. Edwards intentionally participated in this crime by his planning of the armed robbery and his directing of Goodman and Philips to the apartment. Edwards had 16 prior arrests and was previously convicted of theft by taking, theft by receiving, burglary, and the purchase, possession, manufacture, distribution, and sale of marijuana. Favors had seven felony convictions for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine, and theft by shoplifting.
A Fulton County Superior Court Jury found EDWARDS guilty of FELONY MURDER, AGGRAVATED ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON, CRIMINAL ATTEMPT TO COMMIT ARMED ROBBERY, AND POSSESSION OF A FIREARM DURING THE COMMISSION OF A FELONY. EDWARDS was sentenced to LIFE IN PRISON PLUS FIVE YEARS.
Judge Paige Reese Whitaker, of the Superior Court of Fulton County, presided over the case. Senior Assistant District Attorney Brett Pinion prosecuted the case. He was assisted by Assistant District Attorney Matthew Holmes and Investigator Bernice Higgins of the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. Detective H. Griffin of the Atlanta Police Department was the Lead Investigator in the case.