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DECATUR, Ga.- DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston announces the conviction by jury trial of two gang members charged in connection with a deadly crime spree spanning two days. Jurors returned guilty verdicts Thursday afternoon against 22-year-old Joseph Broxton, and 24-year-old Daniel Pena on multiple counts of Murder, Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, Criminal Attempt to Commit Armed Robbery and Violation of the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, in connection with the shooting deaths of three people and gunshot injuries to three others following a series of attacks during the summer of 2015.
Defendants Broxton (a.k.a. ‘Lil Joe) and Pena (a.k.a. Island) were members of the ‘Hate Committee,’ a local subset of the nationally known ‘Gangster Disciples’ criminal street gang. The two were given orders by gang leaders to seek out “violators,” and commit other crimes in the Central Drive area of Stone Mountain. Violators were deemed to be people who didn’t follow gang rules or those who were pretending to be Gangster Disciple members.
July 3, 2015
The pair’s crime spree began on July 3, 2015 when Defendants Broxton and Pena attempted to rob victim Edward Chadmon at the Stone Mountain Inn. The victim was fatally shot while trying to defend himself.
July 30, 2015 2:00 a.m.
In the early morning hours of July 30, 2015, Broxton, Pena and other members of the Hate Committee were cruising the Central Drive area searching for people to kill based on their orders. They stopped at the Hairston Square apartment complex and summoned a male victim to their vehicle. As he approached, the victim was shot five times by Defendant Broxton. He survived his injuries.
July 30, 2015 6:22 a.m.
Approximately four hours later, Defendants Broxton and Pena ambushed a third victim, Oliver Campbell, who was sleeping in his truck at a Candler Road gas station. Campbell, whom the pair attempted to rob, was awakened from his sleep and shot twice—once in his neck and once in his leg. He died at the scene.
July 30, 2015 8:50 p.m.
Later that evening as the defendants were driving near the Wynview apartment complex near Central Drive, they spotted someone they believed to be a rival gang member. The two parked their stolen vehicle, exited, and opened fire on the suspected rival, who returned gunfire. An innocent bystander, who was standing near her front door, was shot in the leg during the melee. She survived.
July 30, 2015 9:30 p.m.
In the final violent act of the day, Defendants Broxton, Pena and other Hate Committee gang members opened fire on two innocent victims sitting on the patio of a unit in the Landmark apartment complex off Bent Tree Loop. Rocqwell Nelson was fatally shot six times. A female companion sitting next to him at the time of the shooting was struck eleven times. She survived.
Defendants Broxton and Pena were arrested following an extensive investigation of the case.
Two other Hate Committee gang members, who were also indicted in connection with these crimes, entered guilty pleas prior to trial and were subsequently sentenced. Several other Hate Committee members face federal prosecution.
“I hope these convictions send a strong message. Gang violence will not be tolerated in DeKalb County,” said District Attorney Sherry Boston.” We remain committed to aggressively prosecuting gang-related crimes in our community and creating a safe environment for our citizens.”
Broxton and Pena will be sentenced on May 19, 2017 by DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Daniel Coursey. Each faces multiple life without parole prison terms.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy Chief ADA Lance Cross and Senior ADA Dwayne Brown, with assistance from DA Investigators W. Pinckney, C.D. Smith, Chris Franklin, Richard Randolph and Victim Advocate Marva Coward. Detectives T. Cribbs and B. Kershaw of the DeKalb Police Department led the initial investigation.