The last of three men accused of fatally shooting an Evans couple in their home six years ago was convicted and sentenced to life in prison last week.
Dag Luquincette Rhodes, who pleaded innocent to the murders of Frederick and Yong-Suk Walker after his arrest in June 2000, was convicted by a jury of murder.
The Walkers, who owned a liquor store and check-cashing business on Kissingbower Road, were shot to death in the bedroom of their Country Place home Feb. 2, 1998. The gunmen, who broke into the home, also stole more than $34,000.
The same jury sentenced Rhodes to life without parole for Mr. Walker's death, but deadlocked while deciding his sentence for Mrs. Walker's.
Superior Court Judge William Fleming Jr. was authorized to, and did, sentence Rhodes to life without parole for murder - because the jury was split six votes for life without parole and six for the death penalty. A sentence of death requires a unanimous jury decision.
He also received an additional 75 years for two counts of armed robbery, burglary and three weapons charges.
Rhodes' uncle, Jimmy Lee Rhodes, was convicted by a jury on the same charges in March 2003 and is serving life without parole.
David Easterling pleaded guilty in the Walkers' death because he went with the two Rhodeses to Columbia County and waited more than two hours for them in a nearby parking lot before picking them up and driving them back to Richmond County.
Easterling's ex-girlfriend, Toi Jackson, went to Richmond County authorities in 2000 with information she said she got from Easterling about the murders.
As part of a negotiated plea agreement with the district attorney's office, Easterling pleaded guilty and testified against the two Rhodeses in exchange for being spared from the death penalty.
In addition to the two life sentences for the Walkers' murders, Easterling is also serving a third life sentence for a similar role as driver in the June 1998 abduction of Sam's Club manager David Holt.
Holt was found burned in the trunk of his own car on Father's Day 1998. Five other men were convicted in connection with Holt's death.
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