Man sentenced to life in prison for gas station murder

An armed man who showed up at a Chevron in Stone Mountain wearing a bullet proof vest has been found guilty of felony murder after shooting and killing a frequent patron of the gas station.

On Oct. 31, DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston announced a conviction by jury trial of 30-year-old Jedidja Mbungu on charges of felony murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony in connection with an incident that occurred on Aug. 29, 2020.

According to investigators, Mbungu traveled to the Chevron located at 410 South Stone Mountain Lithonia Road wearing a bullet proof vest under his T-shirt and carrying a borrowed firearm in his bag. Investigators said he knew the victim, 20-year-old De’Andre Jones, frequented the gas station and the two men had prior interactions at the location. A security guard, who was not named by police, said they previously witnessed Mbungu walking through the gas station, pointing out Jones and stating that Jones did not have a gun.

“On the day of the incident, Mbungu and Jones crossed paths in the middle of Rockbridge Road, looked at each other, and Jones continued walking,” stated officials. “Mbungu then turned and ran back towards Jones yelling at him. He pulled out a gun and fired, striking Jones.”

DeKalb County Police stated that when they arrived at the scene, they discovered Jones lying in the middle of the parking lot suffering from a gunshot wound to the back of the head and that Jones was unarmed.

Several witnesses provided a description of the suspect, who had fled, stated officials. Officers said they were familiar with Mbungu based on prior calls involving altercations. The incident was also captured on surveillance footage.

U.S. Marshals and the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office visited Mbungu’s home and spoke with his family, who indicated they would try to get Mbungu to turn himself in, stated officials. His family then transported Mbungu to the DeKalb County Jail on Sept. 4.

DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Courtney Johnson, who presided over the trial, sentenced defendant Mbungu to life in prison, plus five years suspended for the firearm charge.

The case, assigned to the homicide and gangs unit, was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney (ADA) Helen Pott with assistance from Senior ADA Darlene Childers, Investigator Curtis Averhart, and Victim Advocate Jozlyn Varnedoe. DeKalb County Police Department Detective Prince Wright led the initial investigation.

DeKalb County officials have tried to crack down on crime at gas stations and convenience stores throughout the county.

In June of this year, an ordinance that passed in 2022 requiring every gas station in unincorporated DeKalb County to have 24-hour surveillance cameras at each gas pump, each register, and entry and exit point, went into effect.

Gas stations and convenience stores are considered to be “high risk” businesses, which are defined in the ordinance as “having more than three calls for police service within 30 consecutive days or is a retail establishment where a serious crime such as murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, kidnapping, armed robbery, rape, child molestation, aggravated sodomy, aggravated sexual battery, any felony possession or possession with intent to distribute controlled substances in violation of Georgia or federal law, any crime involving the use of a firearm or any crime involving human trafficking has occurred.”

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