In the hours before a team of deputies arrived at an east Macon house where one of them would be fatally shot, Antron Fair had ridden with a woman to a Steak n Shake to buy food for the two of them -- and for Damon Jolly.
Fair, Jolly and the woman, Cynthia Green, ate their food in a backroom at the house, located off Montpelier Avenue, and watched a basketball game on TV.
It was late March 22, 2006, and early into the next morning.
More than six years later, on June 7, 2012, Fair told prosecutors he heard a boom at the front door of the house, followed by footsteps. He dropped to his knees on the floor, but he couldnt see the door.
Although he saw outstretched arms swing into the doorway of the room, he couldnt determine whether the person had a gun. He heard gunfire and started firing at the door.
Fair spoke to prosecutors earlier this month as part of a plea agreement in which he promised to testify at trials for other men charged in the slaying of Bibb County deputy Joseph Whitehead in exchange for a life sentence with the possibility of parole, according to a copy of the agreement.
Fair, 27, pleaded guilty to murder Friday in Bibb County Superior Court. Other firearm and drug charges levied against him were dismissed.
Prosecutors initially had sought the death penalty against Fair, who has been held at the Bibb County jail since his arrest on the afternoon of March 23, 2006. He will receive credit for his time at the jail, and prosecutors will send documents to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles about the case, including information that none of the bullets fired by Fair caused Whiteheads death.
Offenders sentenced to life in Georgia must serve 30 years before they can request parole.
Whiteheads mother and sister sat on the front row of the courtroom Friday. Behind them sat about a dozen Bibb County law officers, including Sheriff Jerry Modena and Chief Deputy David Davis. Other deputies stood along a courtroom wall.
Among the deputies was Capt. Harry Colbert, commander of the SWAT team that helped Whitehead serve the no-knock warrant on the night Whitehead was fatally shot in the head.
Myself and the deputies involved (in the raid) are glad that a part of it will be over, Colbert said. This gives us partial closure for the six years weve been waiting on this. Under the circumstances of the case, were satisfied with the outcome of this part.
The raid team arrived at 3135 Atherton St. about 1:15 a.m. Nine of the officers moved toward the front door while four others headed toward the back of the house. Several dogs in the fenced back yard started barking.
Heres what happened from there, according to a list of facts stipulated by prosecutors and Fairs attorneys:
Whitehead kicked in the front door with his foot and was the first to cross the threshold. He and other officers immediately started shouting Sheriffs department, search warrant, loud enough that a group of officers outside, 35 feet away from the back of the house, could hear the words over the din of barking dogs.
Whitehead headed toward a back room where a light was on as group members continued to announce their presence.
As Whitehead stepped into the backroom, gunfire rang out and he was struck by several shots. Deputies inside could hear the sound of two different types of guns being fired. None of the deputies fired any shots.
The officer behind Whitehead dove into a bathroom, out of the line of fire. When the shooting stopped, he went into the back room and saw Jolly drop a Masterpiece Arms 9mm machine pistol and Fair drop a Smith and Wesson 9mm handgun.
Whitehead, who had been shot in the head and four times in his hands and wrists, staggered toward the front door.
He fell into the arms of other members of the raid team, who helped him outside.
Whitehead collapsed in the front yard. The raid team tried to resuscitate him while calling for help.
An autopsy later determined that Whiteheads bulletproof vest stopped another shot that struck him in the lower left front of the vest, causing bruising.
An examination of the bullets revealed that the fatal head shot and the bullet embedded in Whiteheads vest came from Jollys gun.
A fragment in Whiteheads hand didnt come from Jollys gun, but it couldnt be proven to have come from Fairs gun. It also couldnt be proven that it didnt.
In his June 7 statement to prosecutors, Fair admitted that he started selling marijuana when he was 14 and started selling crack cocaine when he was 16.
He said he got the drugs from 35-year-old Hassan Harclerode, another man charged with murder in connection with Whiteheads death. Another man also supplied him with drugs, but that man has died.
Harclerode rented the Atherton Street house as a place to store, sell and use drugs. It also was used to as a place to play pool and video games, drink alcohol and have sex. Fair, Jolly and others helped pay for rent and utilities at the house, Fair said.
At some point before the raid, Fair and Jolly went to Macon Pawn and Gun to buy the guns they fired on the night of the raid. Fair bought both guns in his name, but Jolly picked his out, he said.
Fair said they needed the guns to defend themselves from members of the Westside Mafia and to protect themselves from robbery.
Theyd gotten the surveillance cameras and TV monitor at the house as a trade from junkies and used them to see who was approaching the house.
Fair said he didnt hear the officers shouting that they were law enforcement officers until after the shooting had stopped.
Asked by the judge if he had anything to say during his hearing Friday, Fair chose not to speak.
Since his arrest, Fair has expressed remorse and regret about the events that led to Whiteheads death, according to a written statement prepared by Jerilyn Bell, one of his attorneys.
He offers his condolences to the family of Officer Whitehead, she wrote.
In the courtroom Friday, about 20 of Fairs family members and friends sat behind him as a show of support.
Among them were his parents, grandmother, aunts and cousins. Friends from his days at Westside High School also were in the courtroom.
One high school friend drove from Atlanta after seeing news reports that Fair would be in court, Bell said.
Liz Williams, Fairs aunt, said family members supported his decision to accept the plea deal.
She said Fair asked for their input, but it was his decision.
Whiteheads family declined comment after the brief hearing.
About an hour after Fairs plea, Jolly had a separate hearing in the same courtroom in preparation for his trial. Its scheduled to begin with jury selection Nov. 25 in Chatham County.
Prosecutors still are seeking the death penalty against Jolly, 26, if hes convicted.
Attorneys for both sides discussed pretrial motions that still need to be argued.
Jeff Grube, one of Jollys attorneys, told the judge hed been provided photos and 1,783 pages of documents pertaining to the case a month ago and hasnt had time to review all the information.
Previously, prosecutors had handed over 300 to 400 pages, Grube said.
Im grateful I have it now. ... I wished Id had this information two and a half years ago, he said.
District Attorney Greg Winters said prosecutors havent received any evidence from the Jollys defense team.
Murder charges still are pending against Harclerode and 27-year-old Thomas Porter in connection with Whiteheads death. Prosecutors arent seeking capital punishment against them.