ATLANTA - Four men learned how long they will spend in prison for commiting one of the most "horrific" crimes in recent Fulton County history.
In 2016, Christopher Dean, 33, of Lithia Springs, was lured to the Atlanta home of Xavier Gibson and his brother, 30-year-old Orlando Gibson, authorities said. Dean was under the assumption that he was invited to complete a drug deal between himself and another man, Christopher Lockett.
Before the visit, Lockett learned that Dean was once a police witness in California.
For more than an hour, Dean was beaten with a two-by-four and crow bar. After the beating and torture, Dean was shot to death.
On Friday, a judge sentenced Lockett, the ringleader, to life without parole. Quatez Clark received two life sentences. Jasper Green, Joshua Rooks and Xavier Gibson received life sentences.
Investigators said Dean’s body was left in the trunk of a car at the H.E. Holmes MARTA station.
According to the attorney for the man who prosecutors say left the body at the MARTA station, her client was supposed to burn the body, but his conscience got the best of him.
“In my opinion this murder, with its torture, which included a brutal beating… represents the most horrific death in our county in recent history,” said Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard.
Xavier Gibson said even though the torture and murder took place at his home, that doesn't mean he knew about it.
"I would like to say I send my condolences. I'm sorry for ya'll loss," Gibson said.
Gibson apologized to the family of Dean.
“I don't know what else to prove I wasn't there, nor did I have any parts in this,” Gibson said.
Before sentencing, Dean's father told the court Dean’s 5-year-old son still asks about his dad.
“It was so very hard for me to tell a 5-year-old his daddy would never come home,” Larry Dean said.
The judge said this all could have been avoided.
“To me, this whole situation still is one about choices and making the right choices,” Superior Court Judge Gail Tusan said.
Two other men will face trials for their alleged roles in the murder.
Howard said his greatest fear is members of the community will blame others for this violence and do nothing while it keeps happening.
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