Houston & Peach

Man sentenced to life in prison in slaying outside a Warner Robins motel

A Warner Robins man was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole for the slaying of another man outside a Warner Robins motel in 2017 during an attempted armed robbery.

Malik Qran Golden, 21, was sentenced Friday morning in Houston County Superior Court by Judge G.E. “Bo” Adams, said Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Clif Woody. Golden will have to serve 30 years in prison before he is eligible for parole, Woody said.

Codefendants Willie Clarence Walters of Perry and Kendra Tenesha Tillery of Warner Robins are pending trial in the slaying 34-year-old Donell Nathaniel Hawkins. Hawkins was found dead on the sidewalk in front of room No. 103 of the Budget Inn on Watson Boulevard in about 11 p.m. June 28, 2017. He had been shot once in the chest.

Thursday, a Houston County jury found Golden guilty of two counts of felony murder and one count each of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with intent to rob and criminal attempt to commit armed robbery.

A charge of malice murder was dismissed by jurors against Golden, Woody said.

Jurors deliberated for 2 1/2 hours before reaching their verdict following a four-day trial.

“We believe the verdict and sentence sends the message to our community that one’s life is sacred, and if someone murders someone, he or she will be held accountable,” Woody said.

Jeff Grube, a Warner Robins attorney who represented Golden, was not reached for comment.

According to an arrest warrant for Tillery, she was accused of luring Hawkins into a position for Golden to shoot him. Golden was initially identified in an arrest warrant as the shooter. However, Walters was subsequently identified as “the person who actually shot” Hawkins, according to his arrest warrant. Golden and Walters allegedly conspired to rob Hawkins, who had been staying at the motel for about a month and was believed to be selling drugs, according to arrest warrants.

Golden matched the description of a suspect captured on surveillance video, according to the warrants.

Golden and Tillery were arrested Oct. 20, 2017 sleeping inside a 2006 Chevrolet Impala parked outside a home in Waterbury, Connecticut.

A fourth person, Ronterious Maurice Napier, 25, of Perry, was charged with hindering the apprehension or punishment of a criminal for allegedly getting rid of the gun. However, that charge was dismissed “in the interest of justice,” according to court records.

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Becky Purser has covered breaking news as well as crime and courts primarily in Houston and Peach counties for The Telegraph. She’s now exploring topics that impact the lives of children, parents and the family. A graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville with a bachelor’s degree in communications/news-editorial sequence, Becky also has covered city and county government for Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia newspapers.
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