4 men sentenced for role in 2016 murder of Deonn Carter in Columbus

Updated: Jan. 14, 2020 at 9:37 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Four men are heading to jail for charges related to the death of a well-known Columbus man with autism.

Deonn Carter died in 2016, and now his family is finally closing this chapter in court.

Judge Ron Mullins said this case is one of the worst he’s ever sat through because witness after witness testified about how loved Carter was and how his kind spirit is missed in the community.

For more than three years, a blue bracelet reminded those close to Carter of his loving spirit. Family friends vowed not to take off the piece until justice was served.

“Justice was done today so I can take my bracelet off," one family friend said.

“It’s done but it’s not done," said Carter’s mother, Suzette Ragland. "You can’t get closure on your child’s death. I have to go to Green Acres to see my child.”

Carter was shot in August 2016 during an alleged robbery. He died 11 days later.

“He had no culpability of what happened to him," Assistant District Attorney George Lipscomb said. "He was just going about his life and it was taken from him. It was very difficult, the fact pattern. It was so senseless they, they being the defendants, put so little thought into what they did and they ruined so many lives with something so stupid.”

Of the five suspects, Tyquez Davis is the only one who went to trial for murder and was convicted. The four others pleaded guilty to lesser charges and were sentenced on Tuesday. Quamaine Thomas is sentenced to nine years and Dequayae Waldon is sentenced to 20 years.

“My client still maintained his innocence as far as the murder charge. He was not present at the time that young man was killed,” Stacey Jackson said in reference to Waldon.

Thomas is sentenced to 10 years and Tauron Stepney is sentenced to 15 years.

“At no point did he ever say, hey let’s shoot Mr. Carter, let’s rob him," Anthony Johnson said about Stepney. "That never happened. He, unfortunately, was with the wrong people at the wrong time.”

Just when Ragland thought this chapter of her life was over, Davis is requesting a retrial.

“That makes me sad because I want it to be over with so I can rest and so my son can rest," Ragland said.

One thing Ragland was adamant about sharing is her thanks to first responders across the community for sharing their love for Carter, and showing her support throughout this entire journey.

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