Last week, a Fayette County jury convicted Mustafa Mahdi, a 21 year old Fayetteville man, of Malice Murder, Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, and Possession of a Knife During the Commission of a Felony. The jury found that the defendant was guilty but mentally ill. The Honorable W. Fletcher Sams sentenced the defendant to life in prison. Assistant District Attorney Dan Hiatt and Chief Assistant District Attorney Marie Broder prosecuted the case. Fayetteville Police Investigator Shawn Albea was the lead investigator.
The defendant was convicted of stabbing his uncle, David John Quincy, over 75 times on March 24, 2014. The jury did find that the defendant had a mental illness at the time of the crime, but that he was responsible for his actions.
District Attorney Coker said, “this was a challenging case, and I am proud of Dan, Marie, and our Fayette County team for their hard work. This is a good result for the victims and for the community as a whole. We hope now that the victims can find some peace and begin the healing process.”
This morning, I had the pleasure of hosting a group of youth under the supervision of the Department of Juvenile Justice for a visit to the Fayette County Justice Center. During this visit, I, along with Superior Court Judge Ballard, spoke with the kids about the court process. I explained my role in court proceedings and discussed particular cases that have been prosecuted by my office. I encouraged these youth to overcome challenges that they have faced, to work hard in their classes, and to strive to become productive and successful citizens. The youth also witnessed criminal proceedings in Judge Ballard’s courtroom, and the Fayette County Clerk of Court, Sheila Studdard, took them on a tour of the courthouse.
With so much negativity in the media recently, my sense of hope in the future is bright today. These kids were insightful, smart, and eager to learn more about our system. Despite facing unspeakable things in their past, they have the drive to succeed. I’m thankful to have met them today.
Last week, the Spalding County District Attorney’s Office completed the trial of the State of Georgia vs. Sean Evans. Assistant District Attorneys Kathryn Lenhard and Donna Gopaul tried the case for the State. The case was tried in front of the Honorable John C. Carbo, a visiting Senior Judge. A Spalding County jury convicted Evans of multiple counts including: Voluntary Manslaughter, Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, and multiple counts of Violation of Criminal Street Gang Act. He was sentenced to a total of 50 years in prison.
The defendant was convicted of shooting and killing Ares Mayes on May 30, 2016. Mayes, and two other men, were driving from a club in the city of Griffin. The defendant was traveling in a different vehicle when he shot multiple rounds in the victim’s car, striking the victim. The motive for the shooting was an altercation at the club with a friend of the victim. The defendant was also convicted of being a member of the “Crips,” a criminal street gang in Spalding County.
ADA Lenhard said of the case, “I would like to thank my office, especially my trial partner Donna, the witnesses in the case and law enforcement for their tireless work in bringing this defendant to justice for the senseless shooting of the victim in this case. It took many hours, over 20 witnesses, and 9 days for the jury to deliver a verdict, but the verdict was a clear message to those that engage in gang violence. This community will no longer tolerate it.”
District Attorney Coker added, “Gangs have become a big problem in our community and are responsible for the majority of violent crime and drug crime. Gang cases always pose challenges for law enforcement and prosecutors, but my team faced challenge after challenge with courage, and I could not be prouder of them. My office will not relent in our pursuit to end gang violence in this community. Along with law enforcement, we will continue the fight to keep Spalding County safe.”