SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Antwan Drayton - one of two men charged with the September 2016 robbery of Dominique Powell – has been found guilty on all counts.
Drayton is charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault and two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
He has been sentenced to life plus five years.
The men accused of committing the armed robbery in the Tatemville neighborhood on Sept. 7, 2016, are Drayton and Arthur Newton. Newton is said to be a top Bloods Gang member. That state argued that Drayton set up his own cousin, Dominque Powell, for the armed robbery, calling him to arrange a meeting the night of Sept. 7.
Arthur Newton was also there. Prosecutors pointed to phone records on Drayton's phone less than an hour before the meeting, referencing a "hit", which a detective testified the week was gang lingo for the armed robbery.
Drayton and Newton are accused of stealing Powell's wallet, cell phone, and a gun from him that night.
A week after the incident, investigators say Newton ordered Powell's murder from jail to keep him from testifying against them in the armed robbery. The state played a recording of a phone call where Newton could be heard saying, "if there ain't no victim, there ain't no case."
Drayton was only on trial for the armed robbery and has not been connected to Powell's murder.
Prosecutors say this verdict and sentence should send a message to everyone involved in that level of violence.
"I believe the evidence showed that he set it up. He was related. It was a cousin, and I think that's pretty low, to set your cousin up for an armed robbery, and I think the jury listened to the evidence and listened to the law that the court gave them, and they found him guilty," said Chatham District Attorney, Meg Heap.
"I think that sends a message to the other members of his gang, and members of the other gangs, that if you commit these types of violent crimes, if you commit gun crimes, that we are going to pursue all the charges we have and we're going to seek the maximum sentence against all of you," said Assistant District Attorney, Matt Breedon. "I think the thing in this case that really shocked me the most is how pervasive the gang activity is, and not just how pervasive it is, but the reach some of these gangs have and the strength and the weight that they have over their members, and some of the members of the community that these gangs operate in."
Drayton will have to serve a minimum of 30 years before he is eligible for parole.
The man said to be a top Bloods Gang member, Arthur Newton, is one of four defendants in a death penalty case involving the hit on Dominque Powell.