Judge sentences man to life in drug burglary turned homicide

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Lawrenceville resident Steven Green was sentenced to life in prison Saturday for his role in an apartment burglary that became a homicide when the tenant and his friend came home.

Gwinnett Superior Court Judge Billy Ray sentenced Green, 29, to life in prison plus 20 years in the Oct. 1, 2011 fatal shooting of 24-year-old Anthony Augustus, who by all accounts was an innocent bystander.

Jurors deliberated until 10:30 p.m. Friday, then returned Saturday afternoon and came back with the verdict in about five hours, said Assistant District Attorney Chuck Efstration.

Green was convicted on all eight counts he faced, including murder, felony murder, burglary, aggravated assault and firearms possession, Efstration said.

Augustus was giving his friend, a known drug dealer named Shyrome Marshall, a ride home that evening to the Cedargate Apartments near downtown Lawrenceville, when the friends stumbled on a burglary in progress.

Authorities have said Green and his codefendant, Isaac Sandoval, were addicted to the prescription painkiller Oxycontin, which they hoped to score inside the apartment. Green had known Marshall, the tenant, since a 2004 prison stint for weapons possession and had bought pills from him before.

Efstration said more than 200 Oxycontin pills were found outside Marshall's apartment, under some pine straw.

Marshall was assaulted as he came in the apartment but managed to run to a neighbor's for help. Augustus walked in behind him, fought with the burglars and was shot once in the waist. He was pronounced dead about an hour later at Gwinnett Medical Center.

Police arrested Sandoval two days after Marshall led them to Green. His trial is pending.