Curtis M. Bonman, 30, is the first of three men accused of gunning down an unarmed man to stand trial in Richmond County Superior Court.
Bonman rejected a plea offer in favor of taking his chances with a jury. After the verdict was announced, Judge J. David Roper sentenced Bonman to life in prison plus five years.
Bonman told sheriff investigators that he was one of the men who chased after 31-year-old Charles David Davis, firing multiple gunshots at him the night of Aug. 27.
Although Davis was hit only once, Bonman and Thaddaeus Williams, 34, and Killeon Cooper, 20, each were charged with murder. Bonman is just as guilty as whomever fired the fatal shot because he willingly took part in the assault on Davis, Assistant District Attorney Melissa Marks told the jury in closing.
Defense attorney Jason Hasty tried to persuade the jury that Bonman thought he was just riding along with Cooper and Williams while they bought marijuana.
Marks dismissed the argument in her closing statement. One doesn’t take a gun, ensure it’s loaded, and join in the pursuit of a man while firing it if he doesn’t have the intent to commit a crime, she said.
Bonman had a number of chances to walk away from the crime but he didn’t, Marks said. She asked the jury to hold him accountable.
Bonman also faces charges that include kidnapping for the alleged abduction of a man from his Oconee County home on Nov. 11.