A Lawrenceville man was convicted Monday on all charges of entering a Gainesville apartment in October 2013 and holding a woman at gunpoint.
Shamarcus Grimes, 26, was found guilty by a jury on counts of attempted armed robbery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and child cruelty. He was sentenced for 20 years, with 10 years to be served in prison, on the aggravated assault charge for the shooting of Quavis Carruth among other charges.
His co-defendant, Ronta Antonio Garner, 33, was tried last week in Superior Court Judge Andrew Fuller’s court and was acquitted on five of seven charges. The two remaining charges of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime yielded a 25-year sentence for Garner.
At sentencing, Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Bagwell said she initially brought a low offer before the plea deadline “because we hadn’t been able to get any of the witnesses to come in to talk to us.”
Grimes was accused of entering Brittney Al-Masri’s apartment in the 1600 block of Roper Hill Road in Gainesville and holding her at gunpoint Oct. 30, 2013. That same day, Grimes was accused of being a party to Garner shooting Carruth in the side with a handgun.
Bagwell also read a list of Grimes’ prior convictions in a recidivist notice for the court.
Grimes’ attorney Tom Csider, pointing to the fact his client has “still a lot of life ahead of him,” asked Fuller to consider a sentence of 20 years with 10 years served in confinement.
Grimes’ aunt Tashaina Riden received a microphone from Csider to speak on behalf of her nephew, a man she considered to be a good person who was looking for a job in construction.
“I think he should have a chance to not let anybody else dictate his life, because he’s not a bad person,” Riden said.
When considering the evidence before sentencing, Fuller said Grimes was “blessed to have a relative ... to speak highly of you as a good person.”
Speaking on how society “hinges on honesty,” Fuller said he hoped Grimes would spend the following years being “concerned about the fact you can raise your right hand and take an oath to tell the truth so help you God, and then lie.”
“Nothing you say is believable, but you have traits that would suggest you could be extremely successful,” Fuller said, pointing to a contradiction on his state of employment in testimony heard in the courtroom.
Grimes was sentenced to five years in custody on the possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime charge to be served consecutively to his aggravated assault sentence.