Office of the DeKalb County District Attorney

Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit

Sherry Boston, District Attorney

KIRKWOOD MAN SENTENCED TO LIFE PLUS 20 YEARS FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT OF NEIGHBOR

May 17, 2024

State v. Eric Haygood

Decatur, Ga.- DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston announces a conviction by jury trial in the case against a Kirkwood man accused of sexually assaulting a neighbor in her own home.

On Wednesday, May 15, a jury found Eric Haygood, 61, guilty on charges of Rape, two counts of Aggravated Sodomy and Aggravated Assault Strangulation stemming from an incident on February 1, 2022.

According to the investigation, officers from the Atlanta Police Department responded to a Kirkwood home in reference to a sexual assault. The victim, in her 50s, told officers that she saw Defendant Haygood on the street while walking her dog earlier in the morning. Haygood had previously lived in the neighborhood in his mother’s home, and was still frequently seen in the area.

The victim returned home and began working for the day. Around 8:30 a.m. Defendant Haygood knocked on her door asking for a favor. Once inside the home, Haygood attacked the victim, grabbing and strangling her, and demanding intercourse. The victim’s attempts to stop Defendant Haygood verbally and physically were unsuccessful. Before leaving the home, Defendant Haygood expressed, “I’m in trouble,” and hugged the victim.

Defendant Haygood was previously tried for a similar crime that occurred in the same neighborhood in 2007. Despite the State’s efforts, a DeKalb County jury acquitted Defendant Haygood of the charges.

Immediately following the guilty verdicts, DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Yolanda Parker-Smith, who presided over the trial, sentenced Defendant Haygood to Life Without the Possibility of Parole plus 20 years to serve consecutively.

The case, assigned to the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Unit, was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Paige Boorman with assistance from Senior ADA Elizabeth Tarver, DA Investigator Andre Williams, and Victim Advocate Tina Williamson. Atlanta Police Department Detective Fernkorn and former Officer Murray, now an SVU Detective, led the initial investigation.