LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE FOR GANG MEMBER CONVICTED IN GAS STATION KILLING
Stranger Gunned Down after “Bumping Into” Defendant
Decatur, Ga.- A 30-year member of the “All Star Gangstas,” a New York subset of the infamous “Bloods” criminal street gang, has been sentenced to a term of life without parole, plus 55 years in prison. During court proceedings on Wednesday, DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gregory A. Adams levied the sentence against 49-year-old Leroy Starr Copney, Jr. following his conviction last Thursday on charges of Murder, Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault (two counts),Criminal Street Gang Activity, and weapons offenses, in connection with the murder of 30-year-old Andrew Spencer.
The victim was gunned down on December 29, 2016 at a QT gas station on Buford Highway in Chamblee. According to the investigation, Defendant Copney and a group of his friends stopped at the gas station for snacks following a night out at a club. A short time later, the victim and his friends arrived at the same location. While inside the store, a minor altercation occurred between the victim and Defendant. According to witnesses, the victim may have either “bumped” into the Defendant or reached for a hot dog at the same time. In response, Defendant Copney left the store, retrieved a weapon from the car and waited outside for the victim and his friend. As the men exited, they were accosted by the Defendant who asked, “What’s poppin’?,” an apparent inquiry as to whether the victim was a member of the ‘Bloods.’ Spencer was not a gang member, rather an up-and-coming R&B singer and songwriter.
Defendant Copney followed the men to the gas pumps and fired six shots at them, striking Spencer once in the chest and missing his friend. The victim collapsed a short distance away and succumbed to his injuries. During trial, Defendant Copney testified that the victim’s friend, whom he fired upon unsuccessfully, had a gun and threatened him, but video surveillance of the incident disproved that testimony.
Defendant Copney was arrested a little more than a year after the shooting in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He was in possession of an AK-47 with a red bandanna wrapped around the stock and a Glock handgun. He pled guilty in federal court in South Carolina before being extradited to DeKalb County to face murder charges.
The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Josh Geller, assigned to the Major Case Unit, with assistance from Senior ADA Tyshawn Jackson and DA Investigator Eli Gonzalez. Detective Alex Cushenan of the Chamblee Police Department led the initial investigation.