A Cobb jury has convicted two Florida men of murder and a slate of other charges related to the 2016 killing of a Marietta man outside Pappadeaux restaurant in Marietta in 2016.
Demarious Greene, 23, and Dylan Ledbetter, 25, were each found guilty of malice murder and three counts of felony murder on Thursday.
The pair were convicted for killing Anthony Welch outside Pappadeaux restaurant in October 2016 after they attempted to rob Welch and his wife.
Both Anthony and Cynthia Welch were shot, but Cynthia Welch survived.
After the verdict was read, Cynthia Welch said she’s relieved the trial is over.
“The killing of my husband — it was senseless, it was evil, it should not have happened. And I’m so blessed and just ecstatic that justice has been served,” she said.
Cynthia Welch said the couple was at the Pappadeaux restaurant celebrating her birthday.
“He wanted to take me out to dinner,” she said. “We chose the restaurant. And we had a great evening. And before I knew it, it turned tragic. Walking to the parking lot, we held hands, as we always do. And I kissed him and I told him, ‘Thank you. I love you.’ He said, ‘I love you, too.’ And the next thing I knew, it happened. He was shot and I was shot.”
The couple had two children and eight grandchildren. They would have celebrated their 25th anniversary in December 2016, two months after Anthony Welch was killed.
Cynthia Welch said it was tough being in court the past two weeks, seeing Greene and Ledbetter again, but she praised the work of Cobb police and Chief Assistant District Attorney Jessie Evans, who prosecuted the case, for bringing her family some justice.
Evans said there’s no such thing as closure for a family that has gone through such an ordeal.
“But there is a sense of accountability and justice, and we’re just relieved that we were able to bring this to this family,” Evans said.
Both Greene and Ledbetter, dressed in suits and ties, were stoic and showed no emotion as the verdict was read in court. They were led away from the courtroom by Cobb Sheriff’s deputies after the court adjourned, never looking back toward Cynthia Welch or her family.
Cobb Superior Court Judge Ann Harris has scheduled a sentencing hearing for May 30 at 2:30 p.m. Greene and Ledbetter face a life sentence at a minimum, according to Evans.
In addition to the murder charges, Greene and Ledbetter were also each convicted of two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of armed robbery, two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Ledbetter was also found guilty of aggravated assault on a police officer, while Greene was found not guilty of that charge.
Ledbetter was found not guilty of obstruction of a police officer.
Both Greene and Ledbetter have already received life sentences for an armed robbery they committed in Woodstock several days after the Pappadeaux shooting, according to Kim Isaza, spokesperson for the DA’s office.
David Marshall, attorney for Greene, said after the sentencing, his client will be pursuing an appeal.