ATLANTA — A jury has convicted a 63-year-old Atlanta man for the murder of his live-in caregiver, according to the Fulton County District Attorney's Office.
Prosecutors said Anthony Thompson is as paraplegic in a wheelchair who requires full-time care.
According to the D.A.'s office, Thompson grew tired of his caretaker, 47-year-old Wayne Sapp in late 2015. Several months prior to Sapp's murder, Thompson's insurance company determined that Sapp could no longer serve as his caretaker.
While Sapp worked for Thompson, the two men split the proceeds of Thompson's bi-weekly paycheck, so Sapp's termination by the insurance company significantly reduced the amount of the annual income the two men shared.
The D.A.'s office said that Sapp continued to unofficially act as Thompson's caregiver without payment until Sapp became tired of Thompson's demanding and abusive nature. Sapp resigned his role as caretaker.
However, Sapp continued to live with Thompson inside their shared home, while Sapp's cousin, 47-year-old Sherell Herring, assumed the responsibility of caring for Thompson.
Thompson told Herring on a number of occasions, according to the District Attorney's office, that he tried to have Sapp killed by neighborhood "dope boys."
Thompson's anger supposedly came from the significant loss of income as a result of Sapp's termination by the insurance company. Thompson was also convinced, the D.A.'s office said, that Sapp was purposefully unplugging appliances as a way to harass him.
Herring told Atlanta Police investigators she regularly witnessed Thompson accidentally unplug appliances himself with his wheelchair.
On December 9, 2015, Thompson called Herring and told her not to come to work, as he did not require her services that day.
The District Attorney's office says that at about 9 a.m., Thompson encountered Sapp inside their shared home along Hill Street, SE, in Atlanta. Thompson was holding a silver revolver.
Thompson fired a warning shot in Sapp's direction, meant to frighten him. Sapp left the home, with Thompson following in his wheelchair. When outside, Thompson fired a fatal shot to Sapp's chest. Sapp collapsed and died in the driveway of their home.
Later in the day, Atlanta Police arrested Thompson at the Five Points MARTA station. The defendant confessed to the crime.
According to the D.A.'s office, Thompson has 15 prior arrests and nine felony convictions in DeKalb County as well as in Arizona, California and in New Orleans, dating to 1976.
Thompson was convicted by a Fulton County Superior Court jury of murder, felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Judge Shukura Millender of the Superior Court of Fulton County sentenced Thompson to life in prison plus 10 years.