Head of Atlanta's '30 Deep' gang George "Keon" Redding convicted
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The leader of one of Atlanta’s most violent and prolific street gangs was sentenced to two life sentences plus 40 years for killing two men and wounding two others in a series of shootings in 2007.
George “Keon” Redding was convicted Monday night of two murder charges, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. He was sentenced after the jury returned with the guilty verdicts.
During the trial that started Jan. 24, one witness used profanity in regards to the judge and the prosecutor. Another witness was beaten by other 30 Deep members while they were in the Fulton County Jail; the attack was recorded by surveillance camera.
And at one point in the trial, Redding tried to hide a “30 Deep” tattoo on his forehead with make-up. He was ordered to remove the makeup.
During opening statements, Assistant District Attorney Gabe Banks said Redding was feared throughout the Mechanicsville neighborhood of Atlanta where there was a “silent code...
“You didn’t argue with [Redding] in front of others,” Banks said. “You didn’t run from the defendant. You most certainly did not talk to the police, or you would be killed.”
Ronnie Pierce, Redding’s victim on June 19, 2007, ran from him.
Pierce was sitting on a wall when he encountered Redding.
Redding insisted Pierce, a man described as a junkie by prosecutors, had his gun. Pierce said he didn’t.
“Ronnie stood up for himself,” Banks said. “He told George Redding he didn’t have the gun.”
Pierce ran, though, when Redding pulled out a handgun.
Pierce ran to the nearby home of a teacher and banged on the door, begging for his life. The frightened teacher didn’t know Pierce and wouldn’t let him inside.
According to testimony, Redding caught up with Pierce on the porch and shot him eight times, including twice in the back and once in the head.
“This defendant hunted him down, pursued him and shot him down,” Banks told jurors. “You may not have liked the way Ronnie Pierce lived, but … you’re going to hate the way he died.”
In another incident, on July 1, 2007, 25-year-old Victor Hill was a random target of an impromptu retaliation shooting.
According to testimony, Redding was upset about a recent dispute with a group from the Boulevard area so he said he would shoot the next person he saw “from Boulevard.”
Redding saw Hill standing in a parking lot and opened fire, killing him. A woman who tried to run from the gunfire was wounded.
Then on July 28, 2007, Redding went after a man who had witnessed the shooting of Hill earlier in the month. The man was playing basketball when he was shot four times and wounded.
Redding also is charged with murdering a third man but he has not been indicted in that case.
Next week, Redding’s cousin, Jonathan, is scheduled to go on trial on charges he murdered a popular bartender at a Grant Park restaurant. John Henderson was killed during a robbery at the Standard Food & Spirits on Memorial Drive on Jan. 7, 2009.
Jonathan Redding, also believed to be a member of the 30 Deep gang, is facing 24 felonies -- including murder, aggravated assault, armed robbery and participation in criminal street gang activity. Many of the charges against could bring a sentence of life in prison.
The 30 Deep gang has been linked to a number of smash-and-grab burglaries in from Buckhead in Atlanta to Gwinnett County. They are suspected of selling drugs, stolen high-end jeans and expensive electronics.
Just last month, Atlanta police arrested nine 30 Deep gang members -- ranging from 14 to 19 years old -- for a pair of smash-and-grab burglaries early Sunday morning, Jan. 17.