Moments before a jury was set to hear the case for and against Markus Isiah Seymore, the man charged in the Nov. 11, 2010 murder of 39-year-old Adrian Snow made the decision for them.
Seymore pled guilty to a charge of murder, two charges of armed robbery, two charges of kidnapping, obstructing a police officer and possession of a firearm during a crime.
Upon entering the Rockdale County Courthouse Tuesday shortly after 9 a.m., the 17-year old Atlanta resident quickly conferred with his attorney, Rockdale County Public Defender Owen Humphries, about his decision.
"He told me he did not feel like putting the victim's family through this, and he did not feel like putting his own family through it," Humphries said.
Humpries said he had talked with Seymore about all his options throughout the process and the plan was to go to trial.
"I've been preparing for two weeks," Humphries said. "We had gone over all his options and all possible outcomes. The state's offer was the maximum, so he didn't have anything to lose by going to trial."
With the death penalty not being an option for those under 18, the state and Rockdale County District Attorney Richard Read did ask Judge David Irwin for the maximum sentence.
Irwin sharply delivered that sentence following Read's review of the case and impact statements from Snow's girlfriend, daughters and mother.
"You didn't take just his life but you took his dream and his family's dream," Judge Irwin said before delivering his sentence. "I don't have any problem with doing my job.
"What you found out today and even on that day is this community does stand up to bullies."
Seymore received life in prison without parole for felony murder, life in prison for armed robbery, life in prison for armed robbery on a second count, life in prison for kidnapping and 20 years in prison for a second count of kidnapping and 12 years in prison for obstruction of a police officer, all to run concurrent with each other. In addition, Seymore received the sentence of five years for posession of a firearm during a crime.
The crime was an armed robbery turned murder Seymore committed along with alleged accomplices Giovannte Maddox, 27, Tron Hill, 25, of Atlanta and a fourth unidentified male at the GameStop store located on Dogwood Dr. near the Walmart shopping plaza.
On the morning of Nov. 11, around 9:45 a.m., Seymore and the other suspects pulled up to a package store near the Radio Shack on Ga. Highway 138, originally intending on robbing the latter,according to Read. After purchasing a beverage, the group then decided not to rob the Radio Shack and switched targets to the GameStop.
In court, Read went over the events leading up to the robbery that day, stating how Maddox first "cased the joint" before Hill, Seymore and the third person entered. According to Read, Seymore grabbed the clerk by the shirt collar and directed him to the back of the store, zip tied his hands behind his back and began grabbing Xbox's and Playstations.
During that time they noticed Adrian Snow, who was returning a rented game, come to the door through the security cameras and thought he was an employee. They let him in and took him to the back.
"Mr. Seymore demanded Snow to get on the floor, and Mr. Snow reached for the gun," Read said to the court. "We believe he was shot in right hand at that point."
Snow then reportedly said "Ok. Ok. Ok," and got down on the floor, where Seymore shot him again this time in his left shoulder. Read then explained that the bullet went down into his chest between the first and second rib and left about a half inch gash in his right pulmonary aorta, which clotted immediately in the store.
However, once at Grady Hosptial the clot didn't hold and Snow bled out later that afternoon.
During the robbery Snow called a friend to reach 911 and was in contact with Crystal Bledsoe, his fiancee and girlfriend of three years.
Bledsoe was one of the victims who gave a statement Tuesday and told of a man who made everyone laugh.
"He was so much more than a victim of a murder. He was Snow, or Snow Man. He could make you laugh until your side hurt," Bledsoe told the court. "He visited his mother three times a week, called her everyday and he would drive from Conyers to Stone Mountain at 6 a.m. to take his mom to cancer treatment. He watched the video he took of his daughter singing at a talent show and had tears in his eyes."
Fresh off working 11 straight days, Snow had sat down with Bledsoe on Nov. 10, 2010 and went over their 2011 budget, discussing how they would get married, but without a big ceremony so they could buy a house that was big enough for his daughters to stay in.
"To articulate the magnitude of Adrian's death is impossible." Bledsoe said. "I mourn the shattering of our dreams. The death, for his family and friends is a life sentence."
Snow's mother later took the stand and made a statement similar to Bledsoe's, remembering her her son's attitude and personality.
"If these guys would have known him, they would not have taken his life," Snow's mother said.