Yesterday, a Spalding County jury convicted Lajayvayon Malek Johnson of Home Invasion, Aggravated Assault, Possession of a Firearm During Commission of a Felony, Possession of a Handgun by a Person under the age of 18, Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute, Criminal Trespass, and Theft by Receiving a Stolen Firearm. The Honorable Scott Ballard sentenced Johnson to Life with the first 30 years to serve in prison. He will be banished from the Griffin Judicial Circuit upon his release from prison. Assistant District Attorneys Morgan Kendrick and Ashton Fallin prosecuted the case for the State.
Johnson was convicted of breaking a window and entering a home, with two other individuals. The three wore masks and were armed with a handgun. A child of the homeowner was present and hid in a locked bathroom from the gunmen. The defendant along with one of the co-defendants, Dyquavious Deshun Zellner, kicked in the bathroom door and pointed the handgun at the victim. They then took a watch and an IPhone and fled the residence. Police responded immediately and caught the defendant fleeing from the residence. The victim, along with members of the Griffin Police Department, testified at trial. One of these co-defendants has entered a guilty plea. Zellner’s case will be tried at a later date.
District Coker said of the result, “[t]hank you to the brave victim for her testimony, and to the members of the Griffin Police Department who responded quickly to the scene and thoroughly investigated this case. Each member of my Circuit should feel that his or her home is his or her sanctuary. For this reason, my offices have aggressively prosecuted home invaders and armed robbers since I took office. Together, with law enforcement, we will continue to doggedly pursue those that threaten your homes. Thank you to Morgan, Ashton, and my entire Spalding office for fighting the fight this week.”
This week, District Attorney Ben Coker tried the State vs. Adesoji Akinrinsola Olayisade. Yesterday, a Fayette County jury convicted Olayisade, a 20 year old man from Snellville, of 6 counts of Identity Fraud and 2 counts of Theft by Taking. The Honorable Scott L. Ballard sentenced Olayisade to 20 years with the first 15 years to be spent in prison. The jury convicted the defendant of using identifying information of Fayette County citizens to open bank accounts in their names. The defendant would steal this information from mailboxes. The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.
District Attorney Coker said of the verdict, “Identity Fraud is becoming more common in Fayette County. This defendant came into our county with the intent to defraud and victimize citizens here. This sentence should be a message to those like this defendant. You will not get away with crimes like this in Fayette County. Thank you to law enforcement, the witnesses, and the jurors for their roles in achieving this verdict.”
Yesterday, an Upson County Jury returned a verdict of guilty in the State vs. Marcus Slaton. Slaton was convicted of Aggravated Sexual Battery. The Honorable W. Fletcher Sams sentenced the defendant to Life in prison. The case was tried by Assistant District Attorney Mark Irvin and Chief Assistant District Attorney Marie Broder. Slaton was convicted of molesting an 8 year old child.
District Attorney Coker said of the verdict, “I would like to thank my Upson office, law enforcement, and the Crescent House for their testimony. I would also like to thank the jurors for believing this little girl. Yesterday, this child received justice. Together, we will continue to work diligently to keep the children of Upson County safe from those that seek to do them harm.”
Joseph Phillip Kuprian was convicted by a Spalding County jury on Friday, November 2nd, 2018 of two counts of Aggravated Child Molestation, Incest, and five counts of Child Molestation. Assistant District Attorneys Donna Gopaul and Kathryn Lenhard represented the State of Georgia during the week-long trial. Kuprian was convicted of sexually abusing his step-daughter. The Honorable Christopher C. Edwards presided over the case. Judge Edwards set the sentencing hearing for December 10th. Kuprian faces two life sentences plus 130 years in prison.
District Attorney Coker said of the verdict, “I am extremely proud of my office for the fight that they put up in court this week. Donna and Kate, along with Investigator Stan Phillips and Victim-Advocate Cassie Murrell, worked tirelessly to prepare this case. These cases are challenging for everyone involved. They require the victims to stand up bravely in the face of the monsters that molest them. I’m so thankful for their bravery. Thank you, also, to law enforcement and to the Spalding County jurors. You believed the voice of a child. For that, we are grateful.”