The two convicted Craigslist killers who used a fake iPhone 6 advertisement to lure in and murder Clarence Gardenhire in DeKalb County, GA, in 2013 were sentenced Wednesday.
Judge Cynthia Becker from the DeKalb County Superior Court sentenced the two, Malik Rice, 19, and Contevious Stepp-McCommons, 20. Both of the convicted killers received life in prison without parole, according to the Atlantic Journal-Constitution.
The Atlantic Journal-Constitution also reported the verdict.
“I carefully observed both of you,” said Becker of the defendants’ conduct during trial. “Not once did I ever see any suggestion of worry, sadness or remorse. It was a joke.”
According to WXIA, Rice and Stepp-McCommons placed a fake ad on Craigslist in which they claimed to want to sell an iPhone 6. The two murdered Gardenhire, 56, after that ad lured him to an abandoned house, where they were there waiting for Gardenhire with the intent of robbing him.
Robert James, the District Attorney for DeKalb County, explained the crime.
“This was a calculated plot to lure innocent victims to a designated unsafe area with a goal to rob them upon arrival.”
Gardenhire went to the abandoned house after picking up a relative. They intended to use the new iPhone 6 for a new Buckhead business, according to the Atlantic Journal-Constitution. Gardenhire was visiting Atlanta for the birth of his ninth grandchild.
Instead of robbing him as intended, DA James said, “Stepp-McCommons fatally shot Mr. Gardenhire and fled the scene.” An Atlanta area hospital pronounced Gardenhire dead.
Although convicted of felony murder, criminal attempt to commit a felony, firearm possession and aggravated assault, prosecutor Bill Clark pleaded to Judge Becker that she offer leniency in the two killers’ sentences on account of their ages at the time of the murder, and the fact that neither had felony records.
In spite of Clark’s pleas, Judge Becker tacked an additional 55 years onto Rice’s sentence and an additional 35 years onto Stepp-McCommons’ sentence.
She said that Rice was more responsible for the crime than Stepp-McCommons, even though Rice did not pull the trigger. Because Rice set up the crime, he “had a lot more opportunity.”
This was not the first time someone used a fake iPhone 6 Craigslist advertisement to rob and kill an unsuspecting buyer.
James Jones, Jr., a student at Clark Atlanta University, responded to an iPhone 6 ad he saw on Craigslist and wound up shot to death by three suspects, who, according to CBS News, were arrested in connection with this particular Craigslist killing on February 11.
A few weeks before Jones, Jr. was killed, a Georgia couple Bud and Jane Runion wanted to buy a car and after scouring Craigslist to find the type of car they wanted, they found the perfect deal and responded to the ad.
The couple drove to South Georgia’s Telfair County, and was shot in the head by someone called “Jay,” who is now facing charges for the killing, according to CBS Atlanta.
[Screenshot Credit TimesFreePress via YouTube]