A Fulton County jury returned guilty verdicts against three members of the local ‘Jack Boys’ gang, whose reign of terror included the rape of a Grant Park woman and the murder of a Virginia-Highland man.
Tamario Wise, the 19-year-old gang leader; Robert Veal, 18; and Fernandez Whatley, 21, faced a slew of crimes in a 90-count indictment including:
- Murder: Wise and Veal in the November 2010 murder of 39-year-old Charles Boyer of Virginia-Highland
- Armed Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Rape: Wise and Veal in a home invasion and attack of a Grant Park woman
- Kidnapping, Participation in Criminal Street Gang Activity: Wise, Veal and Whatley
The defendants will be sentenced at a later date.
Wise faces up to 14 life sentences, plus 460 years in prison, effectively ensuring that he will die behind bars. Veal also could receive up to eight life sentences, plus 140 years in prison, which means he, too, will die as an inmate.
Whatley, who was not charged with murder or rape, faces up to 90 years in prison.
The trial before Fulton County Superior Court Judge Todd Markle lasted about a week.
The trio’s crime spree lasted from Oct. 19, 2010 through Nov. 27, 2010.
They terrorized residents in Grant Park, Ormewood Park, Lakewood Heights, Old Fourth Ward, Benteen Park and Virginia-Highland with 17 armed robberies and six carjackings in addition to the murder and rape.
Boyer was killed Nov. 22, 2010, sparking a torrent of outrage from residents who felt they were under seige and putting pressure on police to find Boyer's killers.
Wise, Veal and Raphael Cross — an indicted co-defendant who testified at trial — approached Charles Boyer and his girlfriend Lisa McGraw outside of the victim’s Virginia-Avenue apartment.
The defendants demanded the victim’s money and belongings. Once he complied, the robbers then tried to force the couple inside of the apartment. Mr. Boyer fought back and then began to run away — giving his girlfriend a chance to escape, prosecutors said. Wise shot and killed the fleeing man, then escaped with his accomplices.
Hours later, Wise, Veal and Cross then traveled to the Grant Park area, stormed into a home and tied up a woman, her boyfriend and another male. Wise and Veal then raped the woman and fled the area.
Following that rape, Wise led the Jack Boys gang in several other armed robberies before police captured them on Nov. 27, 2010, prosecutors said.
An anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers Atlanta led to their capture.
Trial is pending for co-defendant Raphael Cross. Two other defendants indicted on robbery charges entered guilty pleas in advance of trial.
Chief Senior District Attorney Lance Cross of the Gang Unit prosecuted the case with assistance from Deputy District Attorney Gabe Banks and DA Investigators Vance Williams and Richard Randolph.
The police investigation was conducted by Detectives Vince Velazquez, A.B. Calhoun, Brett Zimbrick and David Quinn of the Atlanta Police Department’s Complex Case Squad.