Jonathan Redding (Courtesy Atlanta Police)
ATLANTA -- It took jurors less than two hours to find Jonathan Redding guilty of murder and 17 other crimes committed in the killing of bartender John Henderson. Jurors hurried out of the courthouse without comment. The victim's father, though, took full advantage to address the court during sentencing.
"What Jonathan Redding did was cowardly," said Don Henderson, his voice rising to a controlled rage.
"And I want to plead with the court that the citizens of Atlanta be spared any more violence, ever again, from this wolf from the 30 Deep pack."
In January 2009, John Henderson died during a robbery at the Standard -- a Grant Park tavern where he tended bar. Redding was a 17 year old member of a criminal gang called 30 Deep. He faced the murder charge alone, refusing to implicate any other members of the gang.
"Possibly, there are three or four other people who are still at large," said Fulton Co. District Attorney Paul Howard. "And we plan one day to make sure all of them are brought to justice and held accountable for what they have done."
Investigators said Redding didn't actually fire the shot that killed Henderson. They've been unable to get an indictment on that man, though he's in the Fulton County jail. They prosecuted Redding for murder because he was part of the robbery that took place during the murder.
In court, Redding's mother pleaded unsuccessfully for leniency. Judge Kimberly Esmond Adams sentenced Redding to life plus seventy years. Prosecutors say it means the teenager will never get out of prison.