MARIETTA, Ga. - A former Marine and federal customs agent will spend the rest of his life in prison for killing his estranged wife and her boyfriend.
Channel 2’s Ross Cavitt was in a packed courtroom at the Cobb County Courthouse for Michael Ntiamoah’s sentencing hearing Friday. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Family members have traveled from Africa to hear his fate. Some weeped as Ntiamoah pleaded for forgiveness from the victim's families.
"I continue to pray for God to heal the pain of the families," he said in court.
He previously pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty.
Ntiamoah admittedly shot down Fatou-Mata Ntiamoah and Mohamed Zaine at their Kennesaw home in December 2010. He said he busted into the bedroom, caught them naked and shot them until they stopped moving. Police said 30 shots were fired as Ntiamoah's wife tried to run down the street.
His best friend, William Quist, said Ntiamoah called him shortly afterward to confess.
“It sounded like he was in shock. It sounded like he had done something really, really bad that you can’t erase. It sounded like he was really disturbed,” Quist said on the stand Thursday.
Witnesses testified about Ntiamoah’s difficult upbringing in Africa, where as a child he suffered disfiguring burns to his face. But in the United States, he became a decorated Marine, guarded a U.S. embassy and served on a presidential detail. He was working as a federal customs agent in metro Atlanta when the murders took place.
Ntiamoah admitted he couldn't handle the fact his wife may have been fooling around, and several of his friends and co-workers testified they repeatedly told him to let it ago.
“I tried not to dwell on problems I had. I tried to work hard, work a lot, so I don’t think about it,” Ntiamoah said.
He said he was depressed and drinking when he erupted in a jealous rage the night of the murders. Friends said it was out of character, and that his background made it hard to forgive a wife who wanted to leave.
“I’m not justifying that, that it was the right thing, all I know is he was a very good guy to me and my family, and that’s the part I know,” a witness testified.
Ntiamoah tried to convince a judge he deserves a crack at parole in the future and testified he ignored brewing psychological problems by working hard. He said the tragedy could have been averted if he had sought help.
"Not a day goes by that I don't think about the situation every day. It's hard for me because I've taken two lives. I've taken two lives," Ntiamoah said.
Click here to watch this video on the Channel 2 Action News iPad app.