Trevarius Dexter White, 17, was sentenced to life plus five years in Newton County Superior Court Tuesday for his role as the shooter in the murder of Kawasikis Ricks, 29, during a 2007 botched armed robbery.
A jury convicted White in June of malice murder, felony murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony for fatally shooting Ricks in the back during a supposed drug deal.
After receiving the recommendations from a pre-sentencing investigation carried out by the Probation Department, Judge John Ott gave White concurrent sentences of life in prison for murder and armed robbery and five years to be served consecutively for possession of firearm during the commission of a felony.
The shooting occurred on the night between June 18 and 19, 2007 in the Hidden Pines subdivision. A drug deal had been set up for Ricks to buy 20 pounds of marijuana from Terrance Reid for about $11,000. But Reid and his four associates never brought the drugs, intending to rob Ricks of the money. Ricks may have also intended to cheat them, bringing counterfeit currency.
That night, Ricks and his associates initially called off the deal but returned a second time after receiving reassurances from Reid. At the back of the carport, Ricks and another man, Justin Hall, encountered White with a shotgun pointed at them.
As Ricks turned to run, he was shot in the back of the neck and fell face-first on the front lawn. His body was turned over and the money in his pocket taken. Hall ran from the opposite direction and later went to his mother, who reported her son's involvement to investigators.
Four other co-defendants - Reid, Clarence Benton, Brandon Hudnal and Marino Tuggle - accepted plea deals before the June trial, receiving sentences ranging from 10 to 25 years in confinement.
Also in court Tuesday, Ott denied bond for Delaney Douglas Robinson, 22, of Riverdale. Robinson is charged with felony murder, malice murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and aggravated assault for a July 15 shooting during a birthday gathering where he allegedly killed one man and injured two others when he fired a gun during an altercation.
After shooting the victims, who ranged in age from 17 to 20 years old, Robinson went across the street and called 911. Deputies arrested him there without resistance.
Ott denied bond on grounds that Robinson had no ties to the community in Newton County, presented a flight risk, was a possible danger to the community and could commit additional crimes before going to trial if he were out on bond.
Assistant District Attorney Layla Zon also pointed out Robinson's prior misdemeanor convictions in Clayton County, which were traffic offenses, according to the Clayton County Sheriff's Office.
Guilty but mentally ill
Kevin Johnson, 29, of Oxford entered a plea of guilty but mentally ill on Tuesday for placing what he claimed to be a package with an explosive device in Newton Plaza on Feb. 14.
No explosive was found when Covington police and Georgia Bureau of Investigations Bomb Disposal Units detonated the yellow envelope with red writing behind the Plaza shops, but Johnson believed the package contained a bomb, said CDP spokesperson Det. Daniel Seals in a previous interview.
Johnson received a total of five years, with one year in confinement, for one count of terroristic threats and one count of possession of a hoax device. Ott also ordered him to stay away from Newton Plaza, take his prescribed medications and to undergo a mental health evaluation.