JONESBORO — Clayton County Senior Assistant District Attorney Jeff Gore said Friday morning that a convicted serial rapist showed no compassion to his victims.
“The General Assembly has identified seven deadly sins and this defendant has committed four of them,” said Gore. “Four different times over nine days, in a cold-blooded fashion, he lured victims to isolated places. It was well-thought out and premeditated. He showed no compassion.”
Gore asked Senior Judge Harold Benefield to act accordingly in sentencing Aamirr Marquez Philpot, 25, who said he considers females “pigs and dogs.”
“He scared them to death and forced them into humiliating acts and stole their property,” said Gore. “We’d ask that the court show him the similar amount of compassion, that being none.”
Benefield sentenced Philpot to life without the possibility of parole in addition to other life terms.
Five women testified that Philpot raped them at gunpoint, forcing them to perform acts of a sexual fetish nature on him. Philpot, a convicted felon with a violent juvenile record, took the stand and denied all the allegations.
But a Clayton County jury disagreed and convicted him Thursday on 15 of 18 multiple counts of rape, aggravated sodomy, aggravated assault and armed robbery. Benefield agreed with a defense motion of a directed verdict of not guilty on one count each of rape and armed robbery. The jury acquitted Philpot on one charge of aggravated assault.
Benefield referred to the late Southern writer Flannery O’Connor to reflect the heinous nature of the crimes.
“Someone once asked her why Southern writers still wrote about the grotesque side of humanity,” he said. “She said, ‘Because we still recognize it when we see it.’ The jury saw it and recognized it and so do I.”
Benefield sentenced Philpot to life without parole for rape and nine life terms with the possibility of parole, all to be served consecutively. It means, barring a change in the law, Philpot will never leave prison alive.
Defense attorney Karlyn Skall represented Philpot and asked for leniency. Before trial, Philpot turned down an offer to plead guilty in exchange for 30 years, to serve 15 in prison.
“He adamantly denies guilt and has maintained that throughout,” she said. “He has three children and a mom and extended family who have been here during the trial. He would have a home to go to after prison.”
Philpot asked to address the court but wouldn’t tell Skall what he wanted to say beforehand. It amounted to little more than a rant on the system.
“There was no evidence, no DNA, no fingerprints,” he said. “I was portrayed as a deadbeat dad. What are females? Look in the dictionary, females are pigs and dogs. There is no justice in this county. It ain’t no justice. I’m not in the hands of the jury, the DA or the judge. I’m in the hands of Allah.”
Skall didn’t want to comment after the hearing. But Gore, who prosecuted the case with Assistant District Attorney Jay Jackson and law school intern Jayna Easton, said Philpot got what he deserved.
“He was very cold and calculating,” he said. “He went on a crime spree for nine days, committed four different sets of crimes, everything but murder. I think the sentence is commiserate with the acts. The court saw his demeanor on the stand and during the hearing, could see who he was and that’s on his best behavior.”
Two of the five victims were admitted prostitutes and Gore suspects two others were but they didn’t want to acknowledge it. The conviction proves, at least in Clayton County, that jurors will not stand for anyone to be mistreated, no matter who they are, he said.
“It shows everyone is entitled to the protection of the laws, even the most desperate who may be doing misdemeanor crimes themselves,” said Gore. “These women are targeted because they are reluctant to go to law enforcement and often don’t report crimes. I hope this sends a message that these kinds of victims will be protected now and in the future.”