Gang members could face death penalty under bill by Gov. Kemp

In his ongoing efforts to go after street gangs, Gov. Brian Kemp unveils new legislation that could have some of the most violent members facing the death penalty.

The bill is named for 11-year-old Nicholas Sheffey who died in 2010 as the result of shots fired into his Chamblee home. The boy was asleep in his bed when the shooter, 18-year-old Cody Dane Bauer, fired into his 16-year-old brother's room from the front yard of the house on Admiral Drive.

Three years later, Bauer pleaded guilty in exchange for life without the possibility of parole, plus an additional life sentence and 675 years.

Sheffey’s mother Deborah Rider says the bill is long overdue and would like to have seen Bauer face the same fate.

“He’s where he needs to be, but if I’d had my way, it would have been (the) death penalty,” she tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.

The bill would also allow judges to sentence gang members convicted of multiple crimes to an additional 5-15 years in prison for each count.

Kemp is asking legislators to approve nearly $2 million for seven new positions on the GBI’s Gang Task Force and resources to set up the statewide gang database. A separate bill would create a legal division of the GBI so that, when requested, the agency’s lawyers could serve as special prosecutors.

“Their (gangs) reach extends to nearly every county and every corner of Georgia, and we plan on doing something about it,” he says.

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