Updated: 5:31 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, 2013 | Posted: 3:13 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, 2013
By Marcus K. Garner
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Quentric Williams will serve life in prison plus 15 years without the chance of parole for shooting and killing a man last year at the Starlight Drive-In Theater.
Convicted of murder last week in the May 15, 2012 death of martial arts expert Mitt Lenix, Williams was given the maximum sentence by DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gregory Adams.
“This is probably one of the more senseless crimes I’ve seen in some time,” Adams said to Williams when he announced the sentence. “We’re here because of your conduct and the actions that you took. The actions you took resulted in the death of … Mr. Lenix.”
In addition to murder, Williams, 32, was convicted of aggravated assault, felony murder – killing someone while committing a felony – fleeing from police, and a host of other charges linked to shooting Lenix as he approached Williams’ pick-up to ask for a jump-start.
After killing Lenix, Williams led police on a high-speed chase from south DeKalb County to the edge of the Gwinnett County boarder, slamming his rented truck into police cars trying to stop him and tossing thousands of dollars in cash out the window as he drove.
He wrecked the truck and abandoned it, discarding one of three guns he had and leaving his girlfriend unconscious as he fled on foot.
Police arrested Williams the next day in a Gwinnett County hotel room with a gun, cash and a stash of marijuana.
During the hearing Wednesday, Williams took the stand to clarify his statements from his trial last week.
“I didn’t kill him on purpose,” Williams told the court.
While Lenix’s father, William Lenix, said he forgave Williams, the elder Lenix said Williams “didn’t deserve to walk among other Americans” and called his son’s killer the embodiment of evil.
“Mr. Quentric represents everything in this world that is evil,” William Lenix said Wednesday from the witness stand. “He said he never meant to hurt anyone, yet as an admitted drug dealer, he was harming people slowly every day.”
Williams’ cousin, Travis Williams, spoke in his support, pleading with the court to forgo what was tantamount to exacting revenge on behalf of Lenix’s family and allow for a chance at parole.
“You have to forgive him,” said Travis Williams, who admitted to wanting retribution against a defendant convicted of killing his 6-year-old son seven years ago. “(But) Quentric going to jail for the rest of his life is just like killing him. That’s revenge.”
Williams’ attorney also asked the judge to rule mercifully.
“The jury has ruled and found Quentric Williams guilty of murder,” Russell Hetzel said. “But the evidence the jury found was not evidence of a premeditated, vicious assault. It was evidence of a reaction … an action of defense.”
But assistant DeKalb district attorney Zina B. Gumbs said the jury convicted him because two prior prison stints for drug convictions did not keep Williams on the straight and narrow the night of the shooting.
“It is clear that the jurors were not appeased by the defendant admitting that he was ‘merely’ a drug dealer,” Gumbs said, noting that he was on parole that night, but had a gun despite state law prohibiting convicted felons from carrying firearms. “It is clear that this individual has no intent on following the law.”
Gumbs pointed to Williams’ testimony during his trial that he wasn’t ready to go to jail when he led police on the extended high-speed chase that followed the shooting.
“I submit to the court that neither Mitt nor anyone here that represents Mitt was ready for him to die on that day,” she said. “Had he been sentenced to the full extent of his (previous) sentences, he and Mr. Lenix would have never crossed paths.”
Williams, who has been in the DeKalb County jail since his arrest for the shooting, will be turned over to the custody of the Georgia Department of Corrections to serve out his sentence.