LITHONIA MAN CONVICTED IN REVENGE-MOTIVATED MURDER OF RIVAL
September 24, 2021
Dropped Passport and Belongings Help ID Shooter
Decatur, Ga.- DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston announces a conviction by jury trial in the murder case against a Lithonia man accused of shooting and killing a rival in broad daylight following a dispute. Jurors returned guilty verdicts Wednesday against 31-year-old Sanjay Stewartson on charges of Voluntary Manslaughter (Mutual Combat) and weapons offenses in connection with the shooting death of 51-year-old Noel “Bobo” Dawkins.
The fatal incident occurred on the morning of May 8, 2018 in the parking lot of a shopping plaza in the 7000 block of Covington Highway in Lithonia. Defendant Stewartson pulled into the plaza in a car with two friends. After spotting the victim, with whom he had an ongoing dispute, Stewartson exited his vehicle and began to argue with the victim. That argument escalated into a physical altercation. Despite an attempt by the victim to prevent the defendant from reaching for his gun, Stewartson drew his weapon and shot Dawkins three times before fleeing the scene, leaving behind his sandal, cell phone, and passport. What appeared to be an unfired revolver was also found on the scene. Dawkins later died as a result of a gunshot wound to his torso.
Nearly a week after the shooting, Defendant Stewartson went to the Lawrenceville Police Department to report losing his passport. After dispatchers ran his name and discovered an active arrest warrant for murder in DeKalb County, Stewartson was taken into custody. He later told detectives that he shot the victim in self-defense, but an eyewitness testified that he never saw Dawkins with a gun.
Following his conviction, Defendant Stewartson was sentenced to 25 years to serve 20 in custody with the balance on probation by DeKalb Superior Court Judge Yolanda C. Parker-Smith.
The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorneys Shepard Orlow and Andrew Turner, with assistance from DA Investigator Jarrod Justus, and Victim Advocate Kiesha Rudolph. The work of the DeKalb County Police Department was integral to Stewartson’s conviction.