By Joe Johnson
An Athens teen was recently handed a 20-year sentence for the shooting death of a man at an eastside neighborhood block party three months ago.
As part of a negotiated agreement with prosecutors, 15-year-old Marquise Dontavius Malcom pleaded guilty to manslaughter for killing 38-year-old Carlos Antonio Harper on May 8 during the party on Carriage Court in the Clarke Gardens apartment complex.
In return for the guilty plea, prosecutors dismissed charges of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and possession of a handgun by a person under 18 years old, according to documents filed Aug. 18 in Clarke County Superior Court.
In accordance with the plea deal, Judge Lawton Stephens sentenced Malcom to 10 years in confinement and 10 years on probation, with the conditions he cannot have contact with the victim’s family members, must enroll in a GED program, and cannot associate with known gang members, according to the sentencing document.
According to Athens-Clarke County police, Malcom shot Harper on May 8 after Harper confronted him over something inappropriate the teen might have said or done to the victim’s daughter during the party.
When arrested, police initially charged the teen with felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a person under 18, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
However, when the case was presented to a grand jury earlier this month, murder was not a charge that the District Attorney ‘s Office gave jurors to consider.
The indictment states that Malcom was charged with voluntary manslaughter because he killed Harper “under such circumstances that would otherwise be murder while acting solely as the result of a sudden, violent and irresistible passion resulting from serious provocation sufficient to excite such passion in a reasonable person by shooting Carlos Harper...”
Malcom was being incarcerated at the Rockdale Regional Youth Detention Center.