DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. — Two young men convicted in the murder of a teen during a New Year’s Eve party learned they will be spending the rest of their lives in prison.
Landon Smith was an innocent bystander attending his first party as a teen that night. His mother says Davion White and Jhabre Wilson got exactly what they deserved: life without parole.
Before the Douglas County Superior Court Judge William “Beau” McClain delivered his sentence Landon’s father told the court how he loved and missed his son.
“My son went to the very first party of his life,” Dexter Smith said.
Smith told the court he still can’t understand how his 15-year-old son went to a new party and ended up dead. He recalled the last words he and Landon exchanged.
“I love you, dad. I love you, son,” he recalled.
A jury convicted White and Wilson for the 2021 murder of Landon.
“These defendants are gang members. They are a menace to society,” Prosecutor Brook Demeke told the court during sentencing.
Prosecutors say White, then 19, and Wilson, 17 at the time, went to the party on Deering Court looking for rival gang members. Demeke said White and Wilson fired shots in the crowd when they couldn’t find any.
Landon was an innocent bystander.
During the sentencing hearing, White spoke to Landon’s family. “I want to give my condolences to the victim’s family,” he said.
That didn’t sit well with Landon’s mother.
“No remorse,” Tiana Florence said. “He offered condolences. But no remorse.”
The defendant’s family asked the judge to give them a sentence where they can get out and be better people. The judge rejected that and called this a case of evil.
“When evil becomes commonplace like this you just have to stand against it,” McClain said.
McClain said White and Wilson didn’t deserve mercy and knew what they were doing that night.
“The sentence of the court is life imprisonment without the possibility of parole,” he said.
The judge also added 95 years to White’s sentence. Wilson got an additional 85 years.
Landon’s mother said this was the right sentence.
“Justice was served for my son. It will not bring him back but we did receive justice,” Florence said.
McClain said one of the defendants wrote a song mocking Landon’s mother about her grief and even got a tattoo celebrating what happened.
He said you don’t come into his court after doing that and ask for mercy.
WSB-TV’s Tom Jones contributed to this report.