One of the two men accused in the shooting death of Calvin Kentrell Banks in 2009 has could be sentenced to life in prison, though not for murder.
According to lead investigator Jason Griffin, Ricky Lamont "Money Mont" Matthews, 28, of Grand Rapids, Mich., was convicted of two counts of armed robbery and two counts of aggravated assault in connection with Banks’ death. He was originally facing 21 charges, including murder and cruelty to children in the second degree.
However, Newton County Senior Superior Court Judge John Ott, allowed prosecutors to tell jurors of a prior armed robbery conviction in Michigan that had similarities to the one committed on Appia Way on June 29, 2009.
Because of that prior conviction, the guilty verdict in Matthews’ case falls under the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which "imposes a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without parole on defendants who are convicted of a serious violent federal felony when they have two or more prior serious violent felonies or one or more serious violent felony convictions and one or more serious drug offense convictions."
According to Griffin, Matthews came to Georgia to work on his rap career, and after the shooting, fled to Michigan where he was picked up by the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office. The motive of the shooting was drug-related and allegedly involved a second man, Larry Grisom Jr., who will face trial later this year.
Although the jury did not convict on the murder charge, Griffin called the verdict "an absolute victory," and praised tohe work of Special Agent Lisa Vorrsai with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Newton County Assistant District Attorney Anne Kurtz, the prosecutor on the case.
The Matthews trial was an incredibly tough case," said Kurtz. "The guilty verdicts on the armed robbery and aggravated assault counts were absolutely a victory because they clearly acknowledged that this defendant was involved in setting up the armed robbery that ultimately resulted in the death of Calvin "Kojak" Banks," she said.
"At the end of the day," continued Kurtz, "all you can hope for is that the truth comes out and justice is done. That was done in this case and I am very pleased with the result."