2 Marietta men, 1 New York man found guilty in 2011 murder
by MDJ staff
February 14, 2014 09:00 PM | 12955 views | 7 7 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Derek George Gray Jr.
Derek George Gray Jr.
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Harvey Hogans
Harvey Hogans
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Derek Kemp
Derek Kemp
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Alphonso Watkins
Alphonso Watkins
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From staff reports

MARIETTA — Two local men were found guilty of murder in the 2011 shooting death of Derek George Gray Jr. in Cobb County.

Jurors deliberated for about five hours Friday before finding Derek Lee Kemp, 32, and Alphonso “JRock” Watkins, 31, both of Marietta, and Harvey “Rucks” Hogans, 27, of New York, guilty of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, armed robbery, concealing a death and possession of a firearm during the commission of crimes.

The men were found not guilty of another count of felony murder and one count of violating Georgia’s Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act.

Deputy Assistant District Attorney Jesse Evans told jurors Watkins had set up Gray to enable the trio to rob him.

Gray was shot July 1, 2011, inside a Ford Taurus that was later found burned in Union City. His body was found dumped in a wooded area off of Circle 75 Parkway near Cumberland Mall at Interstate 75 in Cobb County, on land that has since been sold to the Atlanta Braves organization for a proposed new baseball stadium.

“They were looking for an easy score, and they targeted Gray,” Evans said. “These men chose to conspire to commit these crimes.”

Cobb Superior Court Judge Mary E. Staley set sentencing for 8:30 a.m. Monday and all three could get life without parole.

Hogans was represented by Marietta attorney Jimmy Berry. Kemp was represented by attorneys Bruce Harvey and Kimberly Cornwell of Atlanta. Watkins was represented by Jill Stahlman of Marietta.

The trial began with jury selection Jan. 27.
Comments
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sweetmccullough
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February 19, 2014
One man committed murder, the other two are guilty of covering it up. How often do you hide something for your friends? They showed little or no regard for human life however I don't believe they should receive life in prison for that. Hope not cause I do that every time I turn my head when I see the homeless or someone else needing help. Until we learn to pray and lift each other up instead of tearing ppl down this injustice with continue
J. Williams
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February 17, 2014
They man that they killed (Derrick Gray) was a very good friend of mine for many years, we met in middle school and he became a brother to me. Im glad that they finally found the people who was responsible for his death! Before they killed my friend, he had just gotten married and was waiting to welcome his unborn child in to the world...no sympathy for these 3 men at all. You get what you deserve in the end! #LMME
H. Glore
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February 17, 2014
I went to school with Derek Kemp, he wasnt a bad guy, good parents even.... i dont know what happened. Too often people try to prove how "hard" or "gangsta" they are...Why?

"In order to survive you gotta learn to live with regrets" JayZ

May God rest the dead and have mercy on the rest of us- When is the minority community going to learn fighting each other is fighting the wrong fight. Wake Up Brown Man, Wake Up
pennsauken nj co 06
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February 15, 2014
These men need to be put down like the dogs they are. They deserve the worse, no mercy sought out to them. You took a good life and a good friend from many and a son from a mother. They took a life, so they deserve to lose theirs. May god be with our friend "ATL". N rest in peace brother, we all miss an love u. Let justice prove itself to truly be served.
concerned citizen
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February 19, 2014
what the paper doesn't say is that this upstanding citizen everyone is saying was murdered was there to do a drug deal and shot Watkins in the shoulder first.
Area Man
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February 15, 2014
These three should be getting the needle instead of a taxpayer-funded vacation. Why have a death penalty if it's never sought or carried out?
soulfulbeauty
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February 17, 2014
Not Alphonzo Watkins
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