41-year-old gang member found guilty in fatal shooting of rival gang leader

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Bibb County jurors found a 41-year-old Macon gang member guilty of murder Wednesday in the 2017 fatal shooting of a rival gang’s leader.

Calvin Stapleton was convicted on charges of malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault. A judge sentenced him to life in prison without the possibly of parole Wednesday afternoon.

Prosecutors John Regan and Kyle Owenby presented evidence during the three-day trial showing Andre Jamar Taylor, the leader of the Westside Gangster Crips street gang, went to the M&M Grocery on Montpelier Avenue on April 3, 2017, to get coffee and see friends.

Witnesses testified Taylor, 39, went outside to talk with Stapleton, a member of the Folk Nation and Gangster Disciples street gangs, just before 1 p.m.

According to prosecutors, Taylor and Stapleton had known each other for more than two decades. They were seen calmly talking as they walked across the parking lot. After reaching the Pansy Avenue side of the parking lot, a car pulled in and Taylor walked to the passenger side to talk with someone inside the vehicle.

While Taylor’s back was turned, prosecutors say Stapleton shot Taylor in the back of the head in what Regan dubbed a “cold, calculated execution” in his closing argument to jurors.

Surveillance video recorded images of Taylor and Stapleton walking across the parking lot and the shooting.

A witness who was at a store across the street testified he heard a gunshot and then saw Stapleton walking fast across Montpelier Avenue holding a gun.

Moments after the killing, Stapleton bragged about the killing on social media, saying he was a “real O.G. now,” prosecutors said.

Speaking after the trial, Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney David Cooke said, “As long as I’m DA, Macon will never be a place where gang assassins can terrorize our community without facing the consequences. All too often innocent bystanders get caught in the crossfire. Our resolve in combating gang crime, especially violent gang crime, has not wavered, nor will it ever.”