Atlanta man guilty in gruesome ‘gay panic’ murder

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A Fulton County jury rejected a gay panic defense from a man accused of killing another man he met for sex, instead finding him guilty of shooting the victim in the head and stuffing his body inside a car trunk.

On Tuesday, a jury found Marquayvian Gude (second photo), 19, guilty of murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, armed robbery, theft by taking and weapons charges. Superior Court Judge Craig Schwall sentenced Gude to life in prison plus five years, according to the Fulton County District Attorney's Office. 

Gude killed Devontavius McClain (top photo), a 17-year-old from Griffin, Ga., after the two met in April 2013. Gude claimed that McClain “made a pass” at him as they rode around Atlanta for hours in McClain's silver Impala, so he shot him in the head and stuffed his body in the trunk. 

Gude was spotted driving McClain's car after his murder and Gude tried to use the victim's debit card to make purchases, authorities said. McClain's family reported him missing on April 20, 2013. Two months later, on June 13, Atlanta police found McClain's car abandoned behind an apartment complex in southwest Atlanta.

The officers looked up the tag and the vehicle came back associated with a missing person reported in April 2013 out of Griffin, GA. Homicide Units and APD Crime Scene responded to the scene. There was a strong foul odor coming from the trunk of the vehicle. The Atlanta Fire Dept. assisted by forcing open the trunk and a badly decomposed body was located.

Investigators linked Gude and McClain through cellphone records, tracked him to the Fulton County Jail, where he was facing charges in an unrelated case, and on July 5, 2013 charged him with McClain's murder.

“Gude confessed to murdering McClain, but claimed it was in self-defense because the victim made a pass at him,” Fulton District Attorney Paul Howard said in a statement released Wednesday.

Gude told investigators that he met McClain online and thought he was meeting a female.

“Gude could not explain why, instead of leaving, he chose to ride around with the victim for several hours before killing him,” Howard said in the statement.

[McClain photo via | Gude mugshot via Fulton County Sheriff's Office]


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