Office of the DeKalb County District Attorney

Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit

Sherry Boston, District Attorney


Friday, March 29, 2024

State v. Danyale Harris

Decatur, Ga.- DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston announces a conviction by jury trial in the case against a mother accused of trying to take the law into her own hands, resulting in the shooting death of a teenager. 

Jurors returned guilty verdicts on March 22 against Danyale Harris, 42, on Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Assault and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony.    

According to the investigation, on March 31, 2020, Defendant Harris discovered a video of her daughter, who was 12 years old at the time, involved in a sexual act with a 22-year-old man, later identified as Antonio Harley. 

At around 3:30 a.m. on April 1, 2020, Defendant Harris reported the information to an officer with the DeKalb County Police Department (DKPD).  The officer involved the DKPD Special Victim’s Unit, took the report, and told Defendant Harris that detectives would get in touch with her.  He warned her not to let her anger get the best of her and not to try to get revenge.

Just hours later, however, Defendant Harris drove a large group of people to an apartment complex near the intersection of Wesley Chapel Road and Snapfinger Road to confront Harley.  Defendant Harris and three of the people she brought with her were armed with handguns. 

At around 1 p.m. Defendant Harris instructed her daughter to point out which apartment was Harley’s.  Defendant Harris knocked on the front door with the group behind her.  Harley did not open the door, but instead came around from the side of the apartment building to see who was there.  Defendant Harris and the rest of the group chased Harley, who managed to make it back inside his apartment through the back door. 

As soon as Harley shut the door, someone in the group outside opened fire, striking Harley in the chest.  Harley’s brother, who was inside the apartment, fired back in an effort to protect himself and five of his younger siblings who were just feet away inside the apartment. 

Juan Newkirk, 19, who was part of the group that had come to the apartment complex with Defendant Harris, was struck and killed in the exchange of gunfire. 

Immediately following the guilty verdicts, DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Asha F. Jackson, who presided over the trial, sentenced Defendant Harris to Life with the possibility of parole, plus five years. 

Two others involved in the confrontation were also charged.

Harley was later charged with Statutory Rape, Child Molestation, and Sexual Exploitation of Children.  His case is pending.    

The case, assigned to the Homicide and Gangs Unit, was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Scacco with assistance from Assistant District Attorney Eliazette Johnson, District Attorney Investigator Antoine Winston, and Victim Advocate Christy Palmer.  DeKalb County Police Department Det. Crowe led the initial investigation.