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Man sentenced in murder trial

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

A 52-year-old man was sentence to life in prison on Tuesday, a day after a jury found him guilty of murder.

Willie Anthony Ashe and his 32-year-old son, Anthony Ramsey Smith, shot Quentin Burks, 23, once in the head during a drug deal gone bad, a few days before Christmas in 2005. A jury found the two men guilty on Monday morning.

The father and son went to Burks' apartment on Dec. 20, gave him about $350 for marijuana, but then the three people quarreled about the drugs, according to information presented by the prosecution and the county police in court. Burks threw the men out at gunpoint, and then Ashe and Smith returned, an hour later, with a gun.

Ashe reportedly disguised his voice, getting Burks to turn off his apartment's alarm, unlock and open the door. Then Ashe and Smith, who carried a .38-caliber revolver, reportedly loaded and cocked, forced their way into the third-story apartment.

Burks' girlfriend identified the two suspects, father and son, as the men who were thrown out of the apartment and then returned an hour later.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation experts testified a gun was fired less than two feet away from Burks' head, and a .38-caliber bullet entered his skull through the left side, and killed him.

Michael Thurston, the assistant district attorney prosecuting the case, said Burks left a bloody handprint on the floor of his kitchen, and was probably on his knees when he was killed by the two men.

His last words were reportedly: "Don't do that. Don't do that. Don't do it."

The murder trial began last Monday, and ended after 5 p.m., on Friday. The jury deliberated for about five hours and found both the father and the son guilty of murder and armed robbery.

Smith was not sentenced on Tuesday.

Ashe will be eligible for parole in 30 years, when he is 82.