By Joe Johnson
An Athens man was recently sentenced to life in prison after a jury found him guilty of murder in the for fatally shooting a woman nearly four years ago.
At the end of a trial last week in Clarke County Superior Court, according to court records, the jury found 30-year-old Nicholas Bernard Head guilty of murdering 28-year-old Quintavia Wade at the Columbia Brookside housing complex in October 2017 by shooting her.
Superior Court Senior Judge Joe Bishop imposed a sentence of life plus 15 years in prison.
Athens-Clarke County police said that Head killed Wade because she was trying to help her cousin escape an abusive relationship with Head.
Even before the trial began, Head was serving a 116-year prison sentence because he was on probation for previous drug and gun convictions when he violated probation by committing the new crime of killing Wade.
In separate 2016 cases, Head was convicted on two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, theft by receiving stolen property, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and obstruction of law enforcement.
Because Head was granted first offender status in both cases, Georgia law allowed for him to be punished for violating probation by being re-sentenced to the maximum sentence for each of the charges with the new sentences to be served consecutively, according to court records.
The sentences of 116 years and life are to be served concurrently, according to court records.
The jury last Thursday also convicted Head of aggravated assault for a previous domestic violence incident that authorities said precipitated the fatal shooting. In that incident Head allegedly used a crowbar to assault Wade’s 27-year-old cousin and also held a knife to the woman’s throat.
On Oct. 16, 2017 police responded to the Columbia Brookside housing complex off Hawthorne Avenue, where Head reportedly entered Wade’s home from which he forcibly removed her at gunpoint.
When officers arrived, they found Head holding Wade at gunpoint in the street. Head fatally shot the woman and then shot himself in the face but survived, police said.
Wade was a mother of two young children who was employed at the Caterpillar plant in Bogart.