A state judge in Georgia on Thursday lambasted a man convicted of killing three members of his own family before kidnapping his son, telling the defendant that he needed to “die in a penitentiary,” which the judge assured would happen by sending him to prison for life.
Bibb County Superior Court Judge Howard Simms on Thursday ordered Caesar Zamien Lamar Crockett Jr. to serve four sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole plus an additional 20 years.
A jury on Wednesday found Crockett guilty on three counts of first-degree murder, one count of kidnapping, and one count of aggravated assault. He received a life sentence for each of the murder charges, a life sentence for the kidnapping charge, and 20 years for the aggravated assault charge, authorities confirmed.
Crockett on March 31, 2020, assaulted Jamilla French, his son’s mother, then shot and killed French’s parents, Janet Samuel and James Samuel, and her sister, Lechasta Childs.
“You did everything in your power to exterminate an entire family. You killed three defenseless people. You tried to kill the mother of your child, and then you did just about everything you could to kill that poor little boy,” Judge Simms said during Thursday’s sentencing hearing. “Ultimately, this is between you and God. Your more immediate concern is what’s about to happen in this room. That’s between you and me. You need to die in the penitentiary. I’m going to do everything in my power to help you achieve that goal.”
Simms added that before Crockett’s trial, there had been three other defendants in his courtroom that he described as being “truly evil.”
“You make number four,” he told Crockett just before announcing the sentence.
Testimony from the trial established that Crockett and the mother of his child, Jamilla French, got into an argument that quickly escalated into a physical encounter, Atlanta ABC affiliate WSB-TV reported. When French’s mother tried to step in and help her daughter, Crockett reportedly got a gun and massacred the family.
“He grabbed it, and I grabbed my mom and shoved her in front of me, saying, ‘Run, he’s got the gun. He’s gonna shoot us. Run,”” French testified during the trial. “When I asked about my family, the officer just put his head down and said, ‘They’re gone.’ I asked him who was gone. He just said, ‘They’re gone.’ I asked him again. ‘Everybody?’ He said, ‘Yes, everybody’s gone.’”
Following the triple homicide, Crockett kidnapped his 2-year-old son and sped down to Florida, where he was taken into custody following a six-hour standoff with police. The boy, King Cane Crockett, was found safe.
On the final day of testimony, Crockett took the stand in his defense, proclaiming that his name was “King Lucifer Cane” before alleging that members of the Mexican cartel committed the three murders and the assault on French, Macon Fox/ABC affiliate WGXA reported.
However, Lt. Whitney McCormick of the Tampa Police Department, the negotiator during Crockett’s standoff with police, testified that he confessed to the murders and threatened to kill himself about 50 times during the hourslong incident, according to WGXA.
“He explained to me that he had just snapped and that he had made a big mistake,” she reportedly testified. “During that, basically, there was no coming back from this, and he was concerned that he needed to take his life because of the fact there was no coming back, and he did not want to go to jail.”
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Caesar Zamien Lamar Crockett Jr. gets 4 life sentences
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