FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On Sunday, December 19th, a Fayette County jury convicted Sean Allen, a 20-year-old male from Jonesboro, Georgia, of Felony Murder and Aggravated Assault. Allen was convicted after a weeklong trial and two days of deliberation. The State was represented by Assistant District Attorney Monique Harris and Assistant District Attorney Dan Hiatt. The Honorable Benjamin D. Coker sentenced the defendant to Life in prison after the jury announced its verdict. The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.
The case stemmed from a shooting at Kenwood Park in Fayetteville, Georgia. Daquan Gillett, an 18-year-old senior at Riverdale High School was there with his brother and friends to participate in a water gun fight in celebration of graduation. As they were playing with their water guns, a group of males led by Sean Allen walked down from the basketball court and engaged in a verbal confrontation with the twin brothers. Sean Allen and another one of his friends were both illegally carrying loaded firearms at the time. The verbal confrontation led to a physical altercation which resulted in Sean Allen dropping his firearm. That fight concluded and Sean Allen retrieved his firearm from the ground prior to initiating a second physical altercation with the victim. During the second altercation, Sean Allen again dropped his firearm which led to a scramble to pick up the firearm. The victim picked up the firearm and retreated from the altercation. Subsequently, Sean Allen grabbed the second firearm and ran towards the victim firing multiple shots in his direction. The victim sustained two fatal gunshot wounds, one in the back of his leg and the other in the back of his head. The defendant and his friends fled the scene while the victim’s twin brother and friends attempted to render aid as they awaited the arrival of EMS. The incident was captured on the park surveillance video system which helped to secure the convictions against the defendant for Felony Murder and Aggravated Assault.
District Attorney Marie Broder said of the case: “This case is a reflection of a growing trend in this Circuit and across the State where altercations turn deadly because of the unlawful use of a firearm. The results for the young people involved in this case were tragic. This past week, my office worked incredibly hard to present this case, and I am exceptionally proud of their efforts. I would also like to extend my thanks for the incredible work of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office in its investigation. My prayers go out to the family of the victim. To those who inflict tragic and senseless gun violence in my Circuit, know this, the agencies within this Circuit and my office will use all our resources to prosecute you and keep this Circuit a safe place to be. May this case be a message to you that we will do everything we can to make sure our parks remain safe for our children.”
Our District Attorney inspires students at The Foundry's Career Day! The students participated in a mock trial with District Attorney Broder serving as the prosecutor. After the mock trial they had many insightful and thoughtful questions on the judicial system and the role of the District Attorney's Office.
Tonight's Candlelight Vigil was a truly inspirational event with presentations from Spalding County State Court Judge Josh Thacker, District Attorney Marie Broder and a survivor story from a victim of domestic violence. Fayette County Sheriff Barry Babb and law enforcement officers from Upson County, Peachtree City, Fayetteville and Tyrone participated in the vigil. Thank you to Promise Place and the Griffin Circuit Domestic Violence Task Force for hosting the ceremony.
Mario Camacho-Cruz was convicted by a Spalding County jury for Aggravated Sexual Battery and two counts of child molestation after several days of trial. The victim testified about the acts the defendant performed on her. The defendant was a family friend to the child. The Honorable Scott Ballard sentenced the defendant to 40 years with 30 years to be served in prison. ADA Kate Lenhard and ADA Holly McDonald tried the case for the State.
Congratulations to our newest employees, Assistant District Attorney Audrey Holliday and Assistant District Attorney Adelle Petersen. We are excited to have both of them join our Team!
District Attorney Marie Broder will be a featured panelist at "A Message to My Younger Self". The panel discussion will be held at the University of Georgia, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication on Friday, September 10th. District Attorney Broder's 40 Under 40 Honoree Profile is featured on the school's website
How do you say goodbye to a legend? You can’t!! Today the Upson County DA’s Office sent Mark M. Irvin into his next chapter of retirement in style. Mark, you could never be replaced, and we will miss you every day! Thank you for 30 years of service! We love you!
District Attorney Broder presented a program at Whitewater High School in Fayetteville today. She was a guest speaker in Coach Scott Schmitt's Career class. D.A. Broder spoke about her career and also the Timothy Coggins cold case, inspiring students who may have future careers in law.
Congratulations to our new D.A. Investigator Rob Hullet and our Law Student Intern Lilly Nickels on their swearing in today by Superior Court Judge Fletcher Sams. Inv. Hullett brings over 27 years of law enforcement experience to our Fayette Office. Lilly Nickels was sworn in under the Georgia Student Practice Act. We are excited to have both of them join our Team!