A Warner Robins man was convicted Wednesday of murder and aggravated assault in the slaying of a man who had attempted to mentor him.
Daniel Maurice Thomas, 25, is expected to be sentenced Friday afternoon by Chief Judge Edward D. Lukemire, according to a news release from the Houston County District Attorney’s Office.
Thomas was found guilty by a Houston County jury of both malice and felony murder for shooting Elliott S. Mizell, 55, inside Mizell’s Warner Robins home on the early morning of Dec. 9, 2017. Thomas faces the possibility of life without the possibility of parole.
Mizell, who suffered gunshot wounds to the head and neck, was found dead in his bed, according to arrest warrants. The house on Villa North Court was in disarray, a rear sliding glass door was open and gloves with blood on them were found in the backyard.
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Mizell had been mentoring Thomas and allowed him to sleep over on the couch at least once in the past, Thomas’ mother had told police, warrants said.
“During interviews with Thomas, he admitted to being involved in the shooting but denied any accusation that such was done intentionally, rather the shooting occurred during an altercation with the deceased and the gun was discharged accidentally,” the release said. “From evidence collected at the scene and based on other interviews and statements, detectives determined that Thomas’ story was not supported by the evidence.”
Additionally, witnesses testified that it was unlikely Mizell would have been in an altercation based on his health at the time, the release said. They described Mizell as kind, giving and helpful.
Mizell was a member of the Fort Valley State University Warner Robins Area Alumni Chapter, FVSU Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity chapter and St. Peter AME Church in Fort Valley.