Atlanta/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 22, 2024
Forest Park Man Sentenced to Life for 2010 DeKalb County Murder of Fast Food WorkerSource: Unsplash/ Tingey Injury Law Firm

After close to a fourteen-year journey for justice, a Forest Park man, Rashad Rogers, 33, has been convicted for the 2010 murder of a fast food worker during an armed robbery in DeKalb County. In a trial that culminated on Tuesday, Rogers was found guilty on charges of Malice Murder and Felony Murder, relating to the death of 23-year-old Gary Andrews, as reported by the DeKalb County District Attorney's Office.

The incident which unfolded on the evening of December 18, 2010, at the Church’s Chicken on Flakes Mill Road was described by witnesses during the inquiry. They recounted that two men, masked and armed, burst into the establishment, demanding access to the safe. When attempts to open the safe were unsuccessful, the confrontation escalated. Andrews was fatally shot while attempting to protect his coworkers by guiding them into the store's freezer. The perpetrators then fled with cash, eluding capture for years. According to the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office, an informant implicated Rogers in the crime, leading to his eventual conviction.

The DeKalb County Police Department, bolstered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, made breakthroughs in the cold case by leveraging an informant's testimony against Rogers. The informant described witnessing the suspects, including Rogers, with a large amount of cash on the night of the murder, and recalled a critical piece of evidence – a wig with red tips that matched the description of one of the assailants. This testimony aided in piecing together the events of that fateful night, ultimately resulting in the criminal charges.

Justice's wheels turned slowly, yet inexorably, leading to a guilty plea by Clifford Jackson, accused alongside Rogers, on June 10, 2024. He was sentenced to a 20-year term for Voluntary Manslaughter while the third suspect, Clifford Durham, has since passed away. "He shouldn’t have moved, I had to do it," Rogers reportedly said on the night of the murder, as relayed by the informant to the FBI. Rogers, after a deliberative process by the jury, will now serve a Life sentence in prison, the DeKalb District Attorney's Office has confirmed.

The DA's Homicide & Gangs Unit, led by Senior Assistant District Attorney Kara Roberts with assistance from others, prosecuted the case. The team's unwavering commitment brought a semblance of closure to a case that had haunted the DeKalb community and the loved ones of Gary Andrews for years. Dekalb County Superior Court Judge Shondeana Morris presided over Rogers' trial, before handing down the life sentence. With this chapter concluded, the tragedy of that December night, and the lengthy quest for justice that followed, will perhaps afford a measure of peace to those affected by the irreparable loss of life.