PERRY -- One of three men accused of killing a Warner Robins man in a drug-related armed robbery was sentenced Thursday to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
Bobby Jermel Releford, 25, of Warner Robins, was sentenced immediately after pleading guilty to the felony murder of Keith Moses, 38. Houston County Superior Court Judge Katherine K. Lumsden presided.
As a part of the plea agreement, the only other sentence possible -- life without the possibility of parole -- was not sought by prosecutors. Other charges of malice murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during a crime were dismissed. Also dismissed as part of the deal were two unrelated felony cases.
Co-defendants Tyrone Lamark Davis, 25, and Marte Vesean Polk, 21, are awaiting trial for their alleged part in the fatal shooting of Moses. Davis and Polk both pleaded not guilty at their arraignments. Davis is expected to be tried next week, and Polk may go to trial afterward, prosecutors said.
On Aug. 2, 2012, Moses was fatally shot in his Crestwood Terrace home shortly after 8 p.m. He managed to flee to a neighbor’s yard to bang on the door before collapsing. He died the next morning at The Medical Center of Central Georgia. Police said then that the armed robbery was drug-related.
During Thursday’s court hearing, Assistant District Attorney Greg Winters said Polk came to Warner Robins police with his father after the fatal shooting. Polk told police that he gave Releford, Davis and another person a ride the night of the shooting, Winters said.
It was unclear from what was said during the hearing whether the fourth person, who was not charged, was still with the men when they arrived at Moses’ residence. After the hearing, Winters declined to say because he said he didn’t want to discuss potential evidence before trial. He did say there was no evidence the fourth person was involved in the crime.
During the hearing, Polk was described by Winters as the getaway driver. Polk told police that Releford and Davis went inside as he waited in the car, Winters said. Multiple shots were fired. Polk saw Moses run out of the home and saw Releford fire shots at him, Winters said. But none of those shots were what Winters described as the fatal shot.
When Releford and Davis reached the car, Polk told police, Releford asked Davis why he shot Moses, Winters said. Releford’s statement to police essentially corroborated Polk’s statement except that Releford claimed he was firing in the air and not at a fleeing Moses, Winters said.
Releford’s court-appointed attorney David Daniell said Releford never intended that anyone would be harmed, that he and Moses were friends and that Releford wanted to express condolences to Moses’ family.
Dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit, Releford did not make a statement but simply answered the judge’s questions with a yes or no.
Also during the hearing, Lumsden told attorneys she had ruled on motions regarding Davis’ trial. Lumsden said she will allow into evidence Releford’s and Polk’s statements to police and require them to testify at Davis’ trial.
To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.