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Bun guilty in armed robbery

JONESBORO — A Clayton County jury took about two hours to find a Riverdale man guilty of an armed robbery that sent events into motion that led to the shooting death of a sheriff's deputy.

Johnathan Bun, 18, was convicted on all counts Wednesday afternoon of the January 2011 armed robbery of Los Amigos Gifts and Things in Forest Park. He is due to be sentenced Oct. 4.

Clayton County Chief Assistant District Attorney Erman Tanjuatco said he is pleased with the verdict.

"Of course, there was overwhelming evidence against him," he said. "We had eyewitnesses, video and his own confession. And he ran from police. He knew he was going to jail."

Bun took the stand after the verdict was read to apologize for "all the problems and everything I created."

Bun knew investigators with the Clayton sheriff's Fugitive Unit had warrants for his arrest in that crime when Deputy Rick Daly initiated a traffic stop on him July 20, 2011. Bun exited the car firing at Daly and other deputies before fleeing into nearby woods.

Daly, 55, died a short time later, becoming the first countywide officer in Clayton to be killed by gunfire in the line of duty.

Bun is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole plus 70 years in Daly's death. He pleaded guilty Friday to a second armed robbery he committed June 30, 2011, with codefendant Xavier Carter. Bun is expected to be sentenced to life in prison to be served concurrently with the term he's serving for killing Daly.

Carter, who testified against Bun, will likely be sentenced to 10 years, with three to serve in prison followed by seven on probation for his cooperation. Witnesses said Carter did not have a gun during the armed robbery of Illusions Hair Salon in Riverdale, which was next door to the apartment complex where Bun lived with his family.

Tanjuatco said he will ask Chief Judge Deborah Benefield to sentence Bun to life consecutively with his existing term. The strategy will lengthen Bun's stay in the prison system if the Court of Appeals reduces his murder sentence to life with parole because of his age.

The jury heard testimony all day Tuesday and began deliberations Wednesday at 11:18 a.m., said Tanjuatco. After an hour or so, they asked to review the store surveillance tape and Bun's videotaped interview with police where he confessed to robbing Los Amigos.

If not for Bun's selfishness, Daly might still be alive, said Tanjuatco.

"He was just being selfish," he said. "If he'd have just turned himself in after he talked to Detective Edgardo Rivera, the shooting never would have happened. But he knew he was going to jail and he didn't want to go to jail."