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Posted on: June 2, 2017

RUSE TO BUY DRUGS TURNS DEADLY AFTER BOTCHED ARMED ROBBERY

Decatur, Ga. DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston announces a conviction by jury trial in the murder case against a Decatur native accused of killing a man during a drug deal. Jurors returned guilty verdicts Friday against 19-year-old Benjamin Carpenter on charges of Felony Murder, Criminal Attempt to Commit Armed Robbery and Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Crime in connection with the shooting death of 22-year-old Lucio “Geo” Vasquez. Vasquez was shot and killed on August 11, 2016 outside of a Lavista Road apartment complex while seated on the passenger side of his girlfriend’s SUV.The two had agreed to meet Defendant Carpenter and two others who had lured him there under the guise of buying drugs from him. The men had actually orchestrated a plan hours earlier to rob the victim and run. After arriving at the location, Defendant Carpenter and his accomplice, Christian Hernandez, entered the rear of the victim’s vehicle. When the victim turned to hand over a bag of marijuana, Defendant Carpenter pulled out a gun. The victim struggled to defend himself but was shot twice—once in his side and once in his head—byDefendant Carpenter, who then fled the scene with Hernandez. Both were eventually arrested following a positive identification and DNA evidence linking Carpenter to the scene. Following his conviction, Defendant Carpenter was sentenced to life in prison by DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Linda Hunter. Defendant Hernandez entered a guilty plea prior to trial to charges of Voluntary Manslaughter, Criminal Attempt to Commit Armed Robbery and weapons offenses for his role in the crime. He was sentenced to 30 years with 25 years to serve and the balance on probation. The case was prosecuted by Chief Assistant District Attorney Pete Johnson and Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Anna Cross with assistance from DA Investigator Pierre Easley. Detective J. Paden of the DeKalb County Police Department led the initial investigation. Two Convicted, One Sentenced to Life for Orchestrating Fatal Crime

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