2 gang members sentenced to 16 years for shootout in park


On Monday, March 4, 2024, after a five-day jury trial in Upson County, Ahman Kentezz Caldwell and Lazarus Ali Quiller were found guilty of several charges, including aggravated assault, reckless conduct, criminal damage to property in the second degree, violation of the street gang terrorism and prevention act, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

The two were sentenced by the Honorable Ben J. Miller in the Upson County Superior Court, with each sentenced to serve 16 years in prison plus 28 years of supervised release.

The State was represented by Senior Assistant District Attorney Ashton H. Jordan and Assistant District Attorney Jonathan P. Richardson. The Thomaston Police Department, led by Cpt. Monica Snipes, investigated this case.

The case stemmed from an ambush planned by Ahman Caldwell, Lazarus Quiller, and a third co-defendant whose charges remain pending. Just before 9:00PM on September 5, 2021, Lazarus Quiller, Ahman Caldwell, and their co-defendant arrived at the Park Street Playground. The 3 exited the car, each equipped with a firearm.

Within minutes of their arrival, the basketball court cleared out, and the park surveillance cameras showed bystanders taking cover in the pavilion before quietly asking if others had heard about the planned shooting.

At 9:02 p.m., a truck with two suspected passengers arrives, and the defendants opened fire with an unknown caliber handgun, an AR-15 assault rifle, and an AK-47 assault rifle. At least one of the truck occupants returns fire with a handgun, prompting the 3 defendants to flee on foot, towards the direction of Park Street.

Several vehicles were damaged by bullets, but very fortunately, there were no reported injuries. Cpt. Snipes and her team immediately responded to the scene, securing evidence and gathering information from witnesses.

After identifying the defendants, later investigation revealed the co-defendants to be associates of the Sex Money Murder G20 Henchman subset of the Bloods gang, with this shooting being gang-related.

“This trial was an all-hands-on-deck case, and was an example of an incredible team effort. I am grateful to the members of the Thomaston Police Department, Senior ADA Jordan, Victim-Advocate Hannah Kennedy, Investigator Rick Reeves, and Katy Hurt of the District Attorney’s Office for all their hard work and long hours preparing this case for trial.” ADA Richardson stated.

He continued by stating, “this community cannot tolerate the severe danger and risks brought by gang-affiliated individuals engaging in a gun fight in a public park, and the citizens of Upson County agreed when issuing their guilty verdicts.”

“I agree with the sentiments of ADA Richardson, and I would like to thank my office, law enforcement, and the jurors,” DA Broder said. “Our community is better off after this verdict.”