ALBANY, Ga. -- It doesn't matter that it was a drug deal gone bad. It doesn't matter that the victim is in prison for dealing drugs.
Justice means putting criminals away no matter what the circumstances, said Matthew Breedon, assistant district attorney for the Dougherty Judicial Circuit.
"It was a drug deal, and they stole $200 in cash, a cell phone and four ounces of marijuana worth about $250 from the drug dealer," Breedon said. "The victim, Brandon Stevens, has about two more years to serve for selling drugs."
Two men went to trial Tuesday in the Albany-Dougherty Judicial Building before Judge Willie Lockette for the robbery and aggravated assault of Stevens during a drug deal at the Cromartie Beach boat launch on May 28, 2008.
Kirby James, 20, was found guilty Thursday of armed robbery, aggravated assault and possession of a gun during the commission of a felony, Breedon said.
Lockette sentenced James to 20 years, the first 10 of which must be served before he is eligible for parole, Breedon said.
The jury returned a guilty verdict on Reginald Holsey, 18, for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. It found him not guilty on the aggravated assault charges. It deadlocked 10-2 on the other charge, Breedon said.
Possibly sensing the deadlock could change, Holsey pleaded guilty to robbery by force, Breedon said. He will be eligible for parole during the first five years of his 20-year sentence.
Holsey gave James up in the course of the investigation, according to Breeden. If and when Holsey is paroled will be up to the parole board.
"It doesn't matter that they robbed a drug dealer," Breedon said. "They fired three shots when Stevens ran away. They could have hit and killed someone in the houses near there. We put them in prison."