2 men accused in deadly home invasion killed couple 2 days later

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News has learned of a link between the murder of two Clayton County teens and the murder of a couple in DeKalb County just two days later.

At a news conference Thursday, authorities presented a 54-count indictment charging 11 people with a variety of charges relating to the murder of the Coates children.

Nine of the suspects have been charged with the murders of 11-year-old Tatiyana and 15-year-old Daveon Coates in 2016 home invasion.

Channel 2's Mark Winne learned of another case; DeKalb County's District Attorney Office Prosecutor Lance Cross said Vernon Beamon and Christopher Spencer were convicted in 2017 in DeKalb County on gang and murder charges for the killings of Samuel White and Sylvia Watson.

Investigators said the killings took place just two days after the Coates’ murders and the DeKalb case involved the same gang as the Clayton County case.

The suspects were seen throwing gang signs in an evidence photo, and investigators said their involvement in two double homicides in two counties is a sign of how serious the gang problem is in metro Atlanta and beyond.

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Cross said Clayton and DeKalb authorities and the FBI Safe Streets Gang Task Force worked closely together to combat this gang

“The level of depravity was tremendous,” Cross said. “Two children, executed while they slept in bed.”

In the Clayton County case, the lawyer for Michael White, identified as a DeKalb County school teacher, maintained he's not gang-affiliated.

“He’s innocent and didn’t have anything to do with this,” Nicole Fegan said.

In a statement, DeKalb District Attorney Sherry Boston said, “Samuel White and Sylvia Watson were innocent victims."