Trio convicted in gang crime spree

Trio convicted in gang crime spree

Three men were convicted Thursday in what police call a gang-related crime spree.

Alleged ringleader Tamario Wise and two others participated in a slew of attacks that gripped the city two years ago. Police have identified them as members of the Jack Boys gang.

The group was thrown into the spotlight after the killing of Charles Boyer, a Virginia-Highland man who died defending his girlfriend in a 2010 robbery. Hours later, a woman was raped in Grant Park.

Wise, 19, and Robert Veal, 18, were each convicted of murder, rape, sodomy, false imprisonment and several other counts. The third defendant Fernandez Whatley, 21, was found guilty, along with Wise, of hijacking a vehicle, armed robbery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and cruelty to children.

Several victims, including Boyer's girlfriend and the rape victim, testified throughout the trial.

"What I went through was awful and then, the testimonies that I heard from the witnesses on the stand after me just painted an even more evil picture of them that I didn't even comprehend the whole brutality of it all," Boyer's girlfriend, Lisa McGraw, said Thursday.

Raphael Cross, 23, was initially a fourth defendant in the case, but he became a state's witness and testified against the others in a plea agreement.

Authorities previously admitted Wise should have been in jail when the attacks happened. Clayton County Sheriff Kem Kembrough said his fugitive squad should have been searching for Wise on kidnapping warrants days before Boyer's killing. 

"I'm at a loss to explain why this individual slipped through the cracks," Kembrough said last year.

Boyer's mother, Ann, suggested getting some closure after the verdicts.

"Every waking moment, I never forgot my son, and I'm sure he will be in good place and he will rest in peace," she said.