ATLANTA MAN CONVICTED IN HOME INVASION ROBBERY, MURDER OF ELDERLY VETERAN
Friday, February 2, 2024
State v. Deonte Denard Sills
Decatur, Ga.- DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston announces a conviction by jury trial in the case against an Atlanta man involved in a violent home invasion that led to the shooting and killing of an elderly man.
Jurors returned guilty verdicts on Thursday against Deonte Denard Sills, 30, on charges of Malice Murder, Felony Murder, Home Invasion in the First Degree, Armed Robbery, four counts of Aggravated Assault, Cruelty to Children in the First Degree, two counts of Battery and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony stemming from an incident on March 19, 2020.
According to the investigation, officers with the DeKalb County Police Department responded to a call about a person shot at a home on River Road in Ellenwood. Police met with three victims, including a 12-year-old child, who said that three masked men came into the home, held them at gunpoint and demanded money.
The three suspects smashed the victims’ phones when one of them tried to call 911. They then pepper sprayed the victims and forced them into a bedroom.
Hearing the commotion inside his home, Frank Collings, 94, went to investigate. The intruders threw Collings, who was using a walker, to the ground, dragged him into a bedroom and shot him in the head. The three men then ran from the home.
First responders transported Mr. Collings to a nearby hospital, but he did not survive.
Using geographical cell data, police were able to identify a phone in the area at the time of the home invasion. Investigators later linked that phone number to Defendant Sills.
While he was not the shooter, Defendant Sills did admit to his role in the deadly home invasion during a recorded jail call.
Investigators are still working to identify the other two men involved.
DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Tangela Barrie, who presided over the trial, will schedule a sentencing hearing for Defendant Sills later this month.
The case, assigned to the Homicide and Gangs Unit, was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Tauri Thomas with assistance from Senior Assistant District Attorney Michael Costello, District Attorney Investigator Christopher Hollowood, and Supervising Victim Advocate Ikwo Nyong. DeKalb County Police Department Detective William Muller led the initial investigation.