Office of the DeKalb County District Attorney

Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit

Sherry Boston, District Attorney


February 26, 2024

Victim Identified His Cousin as the Shooter Before His Death

Decatur, Ga.- DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston announces a conviction by jury trial in the case against a Stone Mountain man accused of shooting and killing his cousin.  
Jurors returned guilty verdicts on Thursday, February 22 against Michael Blair Stewart, Jr., 35, on charges of Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony stemming from the shooting death of his cousin Jireh Morris, 30, on December 5, 2020.   
According to the investigation, Morris called 911 shortly after 8 p.m. to report that he had been shot.  Phone records revealed Morris had made plans to meet up with Defendant Stewart at an apartment complex off Bouldercrest Road in Atlanta so they could work on a song together.  Their shared passion for music had recently reconnected the cousins after years of not speaking.  
“My cousin just shot me,” Morris told the 911 operator.  The victim identified his cousin as the shooter 7 times during the 17-minute 911 call.  
A witness who lived at the complex testified that she went outside after hearing the gunshots and saw Morris driving slowly through the parking lot until his car hit a tree and came to a stop.  
When officers from the DeKalb County Police Department arrived at the scene, they immediately began lifesaving efforts.  Body camera video from one of the officers captured Morris’ last words as he once again identified his murderer as “Michael Stewart.”  Paramedics transported Morris to Grady Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.  
An autopsy determined Morris died of three gunshots wounds.  A motive for the murder was never determined.  
Immediately following the guilty verdicts, DeKalb County Judge Brian K. Ross, who presided over the trial, sentenced Defendant Stewart to Life in Prison plus five years.  
The case, assigned to the Homicide and Gangs Unit, was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Helen Pott with assistance from Senior Assistant District Attorney Whitney Reeves, District Attorney Investigator Curtis Averhart, and Victim Advocate Jozlyn Varnedoe.  DeKalb County Police Department Detective B.R. Smith led the initial investigation.