31-year-old Rocquel Quinton Chavers of Bainbridge, Ga., has been sentenced to life in prison after a Crisp County, Ga., jury convicted him on multiple charges related to a September 2014 killing.
Chavers will serve life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus 25 years.
Jasperin Jaborius Armstrong, 20, was found dead on September 12, 2014 on Ferry Landing Road in Crisp County. Authorities determined that he died from a gunshot wound.
Chavers, who was accused of shooting Armstrong, was convicted on charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, conspiracy to murder, street gang terrorism, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Rontavious Domonic Towns, 22, of Cordele, Ga., and Andreika Lynette Harper, 27, of Bainbridge, were also charged with murder in connection with Armstrong’s death. Towns and Harper will face trial in November, along with Shaquille Jackson and Kelvy Henton. Henton and Jackson are charged with conspiracy and gang charges.
Chavers turned himself in several days after the shooting when he learned police were looking for him. Chavers turned himself in to investigators at Bainbridge Public Safety.
The Decatur County Sheriff’s Office also played a role in the investigation. Sheriff’s Investigator Redell Walton, who has worked as a school resource officer and a D.A.R.E. anti-drugs officer in the past, said he remembered Andreika Harper from when he taught D.A.R.E. classes in middle schools.
“Not long after the shooting happened, she basically contacted me looking for advice about the situation she was facing,” Investigator Walton said. “I encouraged her to come forward to the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office and tell them what she knew about what happened.”
Crisp County Sheriff Billy Hancock has maintained his belief that the killing was gang-related. Sheriff Hancock said investigators determined Chavers, Towns and Armstrong were all members of the same gang. According to Cordele Circuit District Attorney Denise Fachini, Armstrong was killed because he violated the gang’s rules.
After the verdict was announced, Crisp County Sheriff’s deputies have warned gang members that they will be handled very strictly by law enforcement, and that gang-related activity such as graffiti won’t be tolerated.
You can read more about what Sheriff Billy Hancock had to say about gangs in Crisp County at WALB.com