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Decatur man, 20, to spend rest of his life in prison for Covington murder
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Keyondre Preston

COVINGTON, Ga. — A 20-year-old Decatur man will spend the rest of his life in prison after being sentenced Tuesday for the 2019 murder of a Covington resident following a home invasion.

A Superior Court judge sentenced Keyondre Bernard Preston to Life Without Parole plus 15 years after a jury last week found him guilty of the April 2019, murder of Shelvis Hillman and other crimes, including multiple armed robberies that occurred during the incident at the victim's Washington Street home. 

"In addition to these crimes, the state presented evidence at trial of two armed robberies previously committed in DeKalb County," District Attorney Randy McGinley said. 

"The testimony showed that Preston had shot at the victims in those cases. He was out on bond for these offenses when he committed the Newton County crimes." 

During the sentencing hearing in Newton County Superior Court, a judge also heard victim impact statements from Hillman’s children, mother and wife, McGinley said.

"Additionally, the state presented evidence of Preston’s criminal activity as a juvenile, including a robbery," he said.

The jury on Thursday, Oct. 21, found Preston guilty of Malice Murder, Felony Murder, three counts of Armed Robbery, three counts of Aggravated Assault, two counts of Burglary, and three counts of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Crime.

His DeKalb County armed robbery victims and law enforcement officers that investigated the crimes testified during the trial, McGinley said. 

Preston's conviction and sentencing follows an incident that began April 3, 2019, when Preston fired a shot at Stanley Hillman's dog. Hillman's son, Shelvis Hillman 40, confronted Preston about the shooting, Fox5 News reported.

Later that day, Preston, who was 18 at the time, and two other suspects forced their way into Shelvis Hillman's home and tried to rob him and the other residents. During that robbery, police said Preston shot Hillman in the abdomen.

A Covington Police Department Facebook posting said Preston was known to have gang affiliations and had the nicknames “Peanut” and “Nephew." 

A tri-county SWAT team assisted CPD detectives in making the arrest of Preston a few days later in a Cordele motel, Covington Police spokesman Capt. Ken Malcom said.

Shelvis Hillman
Shelvis Hillman (Courtesy of Newton County District Attorney's office)