2 plead guilty to killing men near Fulton County Courthouse, DA says
Four years after two men were killed in downtown Atlanta, the district attorney’s office says they’ve brought justice to those responsible.
Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Mark Winne spoke with the victims’ families and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and Deputy DA Vincent Faucette to learn what brought the case to a close.
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Quinton Porter, and his childhood friend Frederick Parker, were killed on Lee Street on Jan. 3, 2019 near the courthouse.
Porter, a reputed high roller with an entourage, was fatally shot in an attempted robbery. He reportedly carried around large amounts of cash while out on the town.
“Quinton Porter was out on the town with friends,” Willis told Winne. “He was known to have large amounts of cash on him...more than $100,000 on any given weekend.”
According to Deputy DA Vincent Faucette, Porter and Parker were shot by a man who had gotten out of a white Toyota Camry, borrowed from a friend who ended up as a getaway driver during the shooting.
Faucette said the man who opened fire then searched the SUV Porter and Parker had arrived in, before leaving in the Camry, driven by a friend.
The Deputy DA said prosecutors searched for the perpetrators, identifying Johnathan Pittman as the alleged shooter and Carlos White, as the alleged getaway driver.
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Both Pittman and White were put on trial for murder and more, but were willing to make a plea deal.
Rather than pursue a trial and leave the chance of conviction to a jury, Willis and Faucette said they weighed the sure thing of a guilty plea. Faucette said he spoke with the victims’ families to consider the plea deals, and was able to talk to some family members of Porter and Parker in person, while others were reached over the phone instead.
“I spoke with the family members. There were some that wanted life without parole. But there were other family members that understood and felt that it was the right decision to make,” Faucette said.
The Deputy DA said as part of the plea agreement, the murder charge levied against Pittman was reduced to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and that the alleged shooter also pleaded guilty to criminal attempt to commit armed robbery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
White, the alleged getaway driver, who maintained during the trial and plea process that he did not know the murders had occurred until long after, pleaded guilty in what’s known as an Alford plea, where the defendant does not admit to the charges but agrees it is in their best interest to plead guilty.
As a result of White’s Alford plea, he pled guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and tampering with evidence, as well as possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
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Pittman’s lawyer, Tim Cook, said there were a lot of questions about the evidence, but Pittman thought this was the best outcome for both himself and co-defendant White. Cook told Channel 2 Action News that Pittman backed up White’s story that when White drove them away from the scene, he did not know anyone had been killed, nor that he had driven to the scene for any criminal purpose.
Both men were sentenced to decades in prison, with Pittman taking 30 years, counting time served, while White was sentenced to 20 years in prison, doing 15.
DA Willis said she expects Pittman to remain in prison past the age of 60, barring the possibility of parole.
The Deputy DA told Channel 2 Action News that he felt justice had been served.