Monday, December 16, 2013

Victims Were Celebrating Black Gay Pride Weekend With Friends

Atlanta– Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr. announces a conviction by jury trial in the murder case against a Decatur man accused of robbing then killing two men inside an Atlanta townhome. Jurors returned guilty verdicts late Friday against 24-year-old Derrick Burden on charges of Murder (two counts), Felony Murder (six counts), Aggravated Assault, Armed Robbery and weapons offenses in connection with the shooting deaths of 26-year-old Calvin Streater and 21-year-old Samuel Blizzard, Jr.

The men were shot and killed on September 5, 2010 inside the Richmond Circle townhome where they were staying. Streater’s body was discovered in a rear bedroom with a gunshot wound to the side of the head. The victim, who was visiting town from North Carolina to celebrate Black Gay Pride weekend with friends, was resting before going out for the night.  Samuel Blizzard’s body was discovered in the front room slumped over the sofa.  He was forced to kneel before being shot in the back of the head.  He was temporarily living at the townhome with his cousin—one of the residents who returned home to the tragic crime scene.

According to the investigation, Defendant Burden met Calvin Streater earlier in the day at a local convenience store and visited with him at the townhome for a few hours. He returned later that evening to rob and kill the victims.  Shortly after the murders, Defendant Burden was briefly detained by homeowners in a nearby subdivision who found him suspiciously lurking on their property. When police arrived, Burden fled the scene leaving behind a bag containing a laptop which police later determined was stolen from victim Samuel Blizzard. The bag also contained a gun which was later determined to be the murder weapon. DNA from a cigarette butt at the murder scene also linked Burden to the crime. He was arrested following a positive identification in a photographic line-up.

Following his murder conviction, Burden was sentenced to two life without parole terms by presiding Fulton County Superior Court Judge T. Jackson Bedford.

The case was prosecuted by Chief Senior Assistant District Attorney Pat Dutcher with assistance from ADA Ramona Toole and DA Investigator Bernadette Hernandez. Detective Mike Willis of the Atlanta Police Department led the initial investigation.

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