Stone Mountain Man Sentenced to Over 2 Decades for Murder of Landlord

Stone Mountain Man Sentenced to Over 2 Decades for Murder of Landlord

DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston has announced the sentencing of a Stone Mountain man to over two decades in prison following his conviction for murder. Drew Brooks, aged 40, was found guilty by jurors on April 15, 2024, for charges including Voluntary Manslaughter, Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony in relation to the shooting death of Ashley Watkins, aged 33, on May 25, 2022.

DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Tangela M. Barrie, presiding over the trial, sentenced Brooks to 25 years in custody and an additional 10 years on probation.

The incident unfolded when officers from the DeKalb County Police Department responded to a report of a shooting in the 4000 block of Autumn Circle in Stone Mountain. Upon arrival, they discovered Watkins with a gunshot wound to her abdomen. Despite efforts by paramedics, Watkins succumbed to her injuries at Atlanta Medical Center.

Investigations revealed that Watkins, Brooks’ landlord, had a strained relationship with him and attempted to evict him from the residence in the months leading up to the shooting. She also sought protective measures against him unsuccessfully.

Eyewitnesses reported an argument between Watkins and Brooks escalating into violence, with Brooks not only shooting Watkins but also threatening another woman present at the residence with a gun.

Brooks claimed self-defense, alleging that Watkins had pointed a gun at him. However, video evidence contradicted his claim, showing Watkins holding her keys at the time of the incident.

The case, handled by the Homicide and Gangs Unit, was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Tauri Thomas, with support from Senior Assistant District Attorney Michael Costello, District Attorney Investigator Christopher Hollowood, District Attorney Supervising Investigator Jacques Spencer, and Supervising Victim Advocate Ikwo Nyong. DeKalb County Police Department Detective Crowe led the initial investigation.

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