By Joe Johnson
A gang member on Tuesday was handed a 40 year sentence for a 2021 shooting in downtown Athens that injured eight people.
During a hearing in Clarke County Superior Court, 22-year-old Pharoah Devonnell Williams entered into a plea agreement in which he pleaded guilty to violating the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, and two counts of aggravated assault.
As part of the plea agreement, the District Attorney’s Office dismissed three counts of aggravated assault, five counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and one count of violating the anti-gang statute.
In accordance with the agreement, Judge Lisa Lott sentenced Williams to 40 years, the first 20 of which to be served in prison and the balance on probation.
The cases of three codefendants remain pending in court.
According to court documents and police reports, the shooting occurred early the morning of Sept. 5, 2021 at the crowded intersection of East Clayton and North Jackson streets, where Williams and three other members of the Blood Trey Nine gang from Wilkes County opened fire on members of the rival Roadrunners gang, which is associated with the Gangster Disciples.
The incident coincided with throngs of people visiting bars downtown as they celebrated the University of Georgia’s football team defeating Clemson University late the night before.
Police said the victims were bystanders ranging in age from 19 to 29 who were struck by bullet ricochets.
The Blood Trey Nine gang members with court cases still pending are Jaccorian Tyrik Hall, Kwontravis Grant, and Damarcas Termaine Grant.