Hall County District Attorney Lee Darragh said this week he is “seriously considering” pursuing the death penalty against two teenage gang members charged in a fatal drive-by shooting last summer.
Meanwhile, Darragh said it is too early to say whether he will file notice of intent to seek the death penalty in the case of three people charged last week with conspiring to murder a Snellville man.
Recent court documents filed in the case of Robert Montez and Miguel Garcia indicate that a July court hearing for the men could serve as a first appearance for a death penalty case, should the district attorney’s notice file formal notice of intent to seek the death penalty.
Montez and Garcia, both 19, are charged with shooting to death 16-year-old Juan Gomez during an August 9, 2009 confrontation on Harmony Church Road.
The defendants are admitted members of the Sur-13 street gang, authorities say.
Gomez, a member of the rival La Onda street gang, was in a car with three others when shooting erupted. Gomez died shortly after arriving at Northeast Georgia Medical Center.
The last time a notice of intent to seek the death penalty was filed in Hall County was in 2007, when Allan Robert Dickie was charged in the fatal stabbing and sexual assault of a homeless woman. Last year, Dickie pleaded guilty in exchange for a sentence of life in prison without parole. Prosecutors said there were serious issues regarding Dickie’s mental health that prompted the negotiated plea.
The last Hall County murder defendant sentenced to death was Scotty G. Morrow in 1999. He remains on death row.
Darragh said Montez and Garcia are eligible for the death penalty because they are charged with committing a murder while in the commission of aggravated battery. Three people in the car with Gomez were injured by the gunfire.
The district attorney said this week he has not made a decision whether to seek the death penalty against Stacey Morgan Schoeck and her alleged co-conspirators in the shooting death of her husband, 45-year-old Richard Schoeck.
Richard Schoeck was shot to death Feb. 14 at Belton Bridge Park while parked there to meet his wife. Authorities believe Stacey Schoeck plotted the murder with a co-worker, Lynitra Ross, and got an acquaintance of Ross, personal trainer Reginald “Mr. Results” Coleman, to commit the shooting.
“While the death penalty would be under consideration in that case, I want to await all the reports and evidence before such a decision is made,” Darragh said.
The only woman on Georgia’s death row is Kelly Gissendaner, who in 2000 was convicted by a Gwinnett County jury and sentenced to death for convincing her boyfriend to carry out a plot to kill her husband.