Panhandler Convicted Of Killing Tourist Asking For Directions

Atlanta (WAOK)-A tourist visiting Atlanta back in 2008 was shot to death after asking for directions.  Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr. announced the conviction by jury trial of 29-year-old Wanique Odwin. Jurors returned guilty verdicts against Odwin Monday on charges of felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during a felony. Prosecutors say 48-year-old tourist Kashma Avery and 33-year-old Jay Abernathy were visiting Atlanta in September 2008 when they stopped at a downtown gas station to ask for directions.

Avery and Abernathy , who were visiting from Michigan stopped at the Shell gas station at 1184 Spring Street in Midtown Atlanta. The men, who were lost, stopped to ask for directions. Prosecutors say as Avery exited his car, he was approached by Odwin who asked for a quarter and became belligerent when Avery refused to give him any money.  The men repeatedly asked Odwin to leave them alone, however, the man described as a panhandler continued to harass the tourists.  Prosecutors say Odwin pulled out a concealed .380 semi-automatic handgun,  Abernathy attempted to grab the gun from Odwin but was shot during the altercation.

Wanique Odwin was sentenced to life plus twenty-five years in prison by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Craig Schwall.



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