A Paulding County man will spend his life in prison after a Paulding jury found him guilty of the 2017 murder of a college student near the tennis courts in a Dallas residential community.

Lowe Deontae Payne, 26, was found guilty Friday, Jan. 10, in Paulding Superior Court of the charges of Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony.

Judge Dean Bucci sentenced Payne to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus five years to serve for the firearms possession charge.

Lowe shot Carldrake Finister, 20, five times on Aug. 28, 2017, following a verbal dispute, a news release stated.

Finister, who was unarmed, sustained gunshot wounds to both legs and his back and died at the scene.

Payne argued that he acted in self-defense despite eyewitness testimony to the contrary, the release stated.

The victim’s family members attended the trial and shared their sentiments at the sentencing hearing about their loss, the release stated.

“The defendant showed a lack of emotion and remorse throughout the trial and continued into the sentencing hearing,” the release from the Paulding DA’s office stated.

Assistant District Attorney Megan Hertel and Deputy Chief Assistant Thomas A. Cole prosecuted the case on behalf of the state.

Assistant Chief Bill Gorman of the Dallas Police Department, who helped investigate the case in 2017, said Finister and Payne both lived in the Vista Lake community off U.S. Hwy. 278.

Gorman said in 2017 that Finister and a friend were sitting at a picnic table near the community’s tennis courts when another friend contacted him.

Finister told the friend to come to his location and that person, whose name was not released, had another man with him.

Witnesses told police Payne also came to the same area and he and Finister argued before the victim was shot and killed, according to media reports in 2017.

Finister was a 2015 graduate of Paulding County High School and a student at Georgia Perimeter College.


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