‘Panhandler' Convicted of Killing Tourist in Midtown
Victim killed four years ago at Spring Street gas station where he had stopped to ask for directions
Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr. announced Monday the conviction by jury trial in the murder case against 29-year-old Wanique Odwin.
Jurors returned guilty verdicts against Odwin Monday on charges of Murder Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault and Possession of a Firearm During a Felony in the shooting death of 48-year-old tourist Kashma Avery and one count of Aggravated Assault against 33-year-old Jay Abernathy who was traveling with the victim.
Avery, who was reportedly in town for Atlanta Black Gay Pride, was shot and killed on September 2, 2008 in the Shell Gas station parking lot located at 1184 Spring St. near 14th St. in Midtown. Avery and Abernathy, in town from Michigan, were lost and stopped to ask for directions.
As Avery exited his car, he was approached by the defendant who asked for a quarter and became belligerent when Avery refused to give him any money.
The defendant then continued to harass the tourists, despite being asked repeatedly to go away. A confrontation ensued and the defendant pulled out a concealed .380 semi-automatic handgun. Abernathy attempted to grab the gun from from Odwin, but the defendant shot Avery anyway.
Wanique Odwin was sentenced to life plus twenty-five years in prison by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Craig Schwall who presided over the case.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Linda Dunikoski prosecuted the case with assistance from ADA Steven Jones and DA Investigator Terri Jackson. Detective David Quinn with the Atlanta Police Department led the initial investigation.