ATLANTA — The four men accused of killing a popular Atlanta restaurant manager have all pleaded guilty to the shooting.
Chelsea Beller, 29, was closing the Barcelona Wine Bar on Nov. 19, 2017, when three men forced their way in, according to investigators. Beller was forced to open the restaurant safe and then shot in the shoulder. She died from her injuries.
Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes was the only reporter in the courtroom Monday as Beller’s family asked the judge not to show any leniency towards the men.
Fernandes said it was expected that the shooter, Carlous Bailey, would plead guilty and the other three suspects, Samuel Ott, Ira Williams, and Terry Jones, would have a jury trial.
But right before the judge brought the jury into the courtroom, Ott, Williams, and Jones decided to plead guilty.
The men robbed the Barcelona Wine Bar on Howell Mill Road in northwest Atlanta in November 2017.
Five years later, they finally faced Judge Emily Richardson in a Fulton County courtroom.
Bailey had already taken a plea deal before Monday morning’s hearing, admitting he shot Bellar by mistake. He said his only intention was to rob the restaurant and apologized saying he was remorseful for what he did.
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Chelsea’s mother, Dana Bast, gave an impact statement to the court.
“I think about her every second of every day. The past five years have been pretty torturous,” Bast said. “This has forever changed the shape of my heart thinking about what Chelsea had to go through.”
The shooter’s mother, Antonia Spencer, also wanted to address the court.
“There’s not a whole lot I can say except I’m so sorry. I don’t understand your pain, but I know mine. I’m so, so sorry for the pain that this has caused you,” Spencer said.
She collapsed as she walked back to her seat.
The judge sentenced Bailey to 30 years in prison with the possibility of parole only because he pleaded guilty.
Three of the four defendants got 30 years with the possibility of parole. The getaway driver got 15 years with the possibility of parole.
Even though the manager is the only person who died that night - some of the other employees have never been the same, like the dishwasher who said he now suffers from survivor’s guilt.
He said he now chooses to live on the street because he can’t deal with the trauma.
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