On July 22, 2008, Samuel Steward, 16, was shot dead at the corner of Avery Street and Allgood Road, in a neighborhood just north of the 120 Loop, near the Elizabeth Porter Recreation Center.
Flynn said the case began as a “who done it,” which took investigators out of state to follow up on the many leads.
But after the trail ran cold, it looked like the case would not go anywhere, Flynn said.
Flynn said Detective Christopher Lindsey with the Marietta Police Department continued to work with the victim’s mother, Cordelia Gober.
“(Lindsey’s) tenacity to stick with it and work on the case caused it to ultimately be resolved,” Flynn said.
At 9:45 p.m. that July 2008 night, two teenagers were robbed at gunpoint for a few dollars and a cellphone. Steward was shot in the head twice and died a few hours later. The other teen, DeMarco Tyler, survived and testified about the shooting.
Last week, a jury found Lucas, 29, of Lithonia, guilty of all 12 charges, including felony murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault, and use of a firearm by a convicted felon.
On Wednesday, Lucas received two consecutive life sentences plus an additional fifteen years, meaning he will have to serve a minimum of 75 years for the Marietta case, according to Lindsey.
Cobb Superior Court Judge S. Lark Ingram set the Marietta sentence to begin at the end of a 20-year DeKalb County sentence Lucas is already serving.
“By my math, Dequontist Lucas will not be eligible for parole until he is 119 years old,” Lindsey said in an email.
Years of investigation
In March 2011, a DeKalb County investigator was interviewing Lucas’ onetime girlfriend, Quatney Sapee, about a deadly shootout in DeKalb when she volunteered information about the Marietta teen’s murder.
Sapee, who testified at the trial, told investigators she was driving Lucas and another man that night in her Ford Explorer, when she witnessed them shoot Steward, according to the Cobb District Attorney’s Office.
Flynn said he remembers the Steward family being distraught after the murder.
“They really needed the closure, they really needed to know there would be some justice,” Flynn said. “It is a good day for justice.”
Flynn said there is always a concern when a witness comes forward many years later that the case will be hard to revive for a judge and jury.
The other suspect involved in the killing, a 6-foot-tall, light-skinned black man, has never been caught by police.
Councilman Anthony Coleman, who represents the area where the shooting occurred and knew the Steward family, said he was very happy about the verdict.
Coleman said Gober called him constantly to ask if there was new information about the case, and made the councilman promise not to let her son’s death be forgotten.
“This is a chapter in her life that she wanted to close and have peace about,” Coleman said.