Trial begins in diaper suffocation


LILBURN, Ga.,None - The trial began Monday for a man accused of using an adult diaper to suffocate a Lilburn businessman.

Demarcus Crawford is one of four people charged in the death of 51-year-old Tedla Lemma. Prosecutors said Crawford and his accomplices robbed Lemma and suffocated him in 2008. A man identified as the crew's leader is serving a life sentence in prison.

Lemma was found dead at his home on Kenion Forest Drive. Neighbors said he lived in the quiet neighborhood with his brother, and they owned a convenience store together. Family members told Channel 2 the victim moved to the metro area from Ethiopia in the 1990s to "live the American dream."

But Lemma's dream hit a roadblock when he was shot during a robbery at his store, relatives said. His injuries left him paralyzed.

Then, months before his death, Lemma was robbed of $54,000, police said. They said Crawford and his crew are responsible.

In the final robbery, officers said Crawford and the other suspects gagged Lemma with an adult diaper so tightly that he suffocated. His body was found after family members asked authorities to check on him.

Channel 2 Action News

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