ATLANTA MAN CONVICTED IN SHOOTING OF PARTY GUEST
Monday, October 16, 2023
State v. Avery Hammond
Decatur, Ga.- DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston announces a conviction by jury trial in the murder case against an Atlanta man accused of shooting another man after a dispute over song lyrics.
Jurors returned guilty verdicts Friday, October 13 against Avery Antonio Hammond, 39, on charges of Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, Possession of a Firearm by a First Offender Probationer and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony stemming from an incident on February 19, 2022.
According to the investigation, Defendant Hammond and his wife hosted people at their home on Shawn Wayne Court in Atlanta for an evening of drinks and making music. As the event stretched into the early morning, Defendant Hammond had a disagreement with one of the guests, Lexington Cooper, 29, over lyrics Hammond found offensive.
Cooper had attended the gathering with his cousin, Virdie Dill, who is related to Defendant Hammond by marriage. As Cooper and Dill left the townhome, Defendant Hammond and his wife followed them out. Defendant Hammond opened fire, shooting Cooper in the back multiple times. Dill grabbed a gun from his car, ran for cover and fired back at Defendant Hammond.
Defendant Hammond shot at Dill and Hammond hit his own wife in the shoulder.
When police arrived, they found Cooper outside the home. He had already passed away from his injuries.
DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Nora Polk, who presided over the trial, will schedule a sentencing hearing for Defendant Hammond in the coming weeks.
The case, assigned to the Homicide and Gangs Unit, was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Eleanor Friedman with assistance from Senior ADA Jennifer Scacco, DA Investigator Alyssa Zackery, and Victim Advocate Ikwo Nyong. DeKalb County Police Department Detective Naeem Craft led the initial investigation.