JONESBORO Four suspects in the shooting death of a fifth pleaded out Monday to lesser charges and were sentenced to varying prison terms.
Clayton County Assistant District Attorney Katie Powers said the actual shooter, Martez Duke, was deemed by the grand jury to be acting in self-defense in September 2011 when he shot Falonte “Tay” Singleton, 20.
Powers said Singleton and two other men planned to rob Duke during a drug buy set up by Latisha Renee Robinson, 19, of Riverdale.
When the plan evolved into an armed robbery, Robinson and co-defendant Kianesha Jwana Darby, 22, of Jonesboro left the area. Singleton, Charles “Pig” Reginald Hill, 29, and Josh “Cool” Dewayne Wilson, 22, both of Jonesboro stayed to confront Duke, said police.
When Duke arrived, he saw Singleton holding a sawed-off shotgun and opened fire before fleeing, said police. Singleton died at the scene. Police said Hill took the gun Singleton was holding and gave it to Wilson to hide. Police recovered the shotgun, which had blood on it.
The four suspects were tracked down to Hill’s Jonesboro apartment, where police said they found Singleton’s disassembled cell phone on a table inside the garage.
All four were charged with murder and being a party to crimes. The men were also charged with tampering with evidence.
Powers said Darby, who drove the car, was sentenced by Chief Judge Deborah Benefield to 10 years, to serve one year in prison. Wilson, who acted as lookout, and Robinson got 10 years, to serve three years in prison. Hill, who also approached with a gun, got 20 years, to serve eight in prison.