COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- Three men were found guilty last week of shooting a victim to death and dumping his body in Cobb County.
Jurors deliberated five hours before convicting 27-year-old Harvey "Rucks" Hogans of New York, 32-year-old Derek Lee Kemp of Marietta and 31-year-old Alphonso "JRock" Watkins of Marietta of a number of charges.
The defendants were sentenced Monday to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Police believe Hogans pulled the trigger in this case. Kemp and Watkins both had prior felony convictions that required the life sentence.
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Prosecutors said that on July 1, 2011, the trio set up Derek George Gray Jr. for a robbery. The defendants then shot Gray in a Ford Taurus, which was later found burned in Union City, before discarding the body off Circle 75 Parkway.
"They were looking for an easy score, and they targeted Mr. Gray," Cobb County Deputy Assistant District Attorney Jesse Evans said in court. "These men chose to conspire to commit these crimes."
All three defendants were found guilty of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, armed robbery, concealing a death and firearm possession. They were acquitted of another count of felony murder as well as a charge of violating Georgia's Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act.
The victim's mother and sister addressed the court at Monday's sentencing.
"The pain has been too much to bear," Helen Brown, Gray's mother, told the court. "I pray no other mother will have to experience the pain these defendants have caused me."
"My heart hurts thinking he was in pain," Kia Hansford, Gray's sister, said.
Hansford added that her brother was passionate about music and football.
"He was only married for six days. He never got to hold his son," she said of Gray.
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