The Georgia Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a Columbus drug dealer who in 2005 targeted the wrong man over $21,000 worth of stolen cocaine.
Michael “Little Mike” Gomillion was sentenced to life in prison for the Oct. 22, 2005, fatal shooting of Clyde Chaney at a crack house on 28th Street. His first trial the following December ended in a mistrial, but he was convicted Aug. 21, 2008, after a second trial.
According to the trial record, Chaney was visiting a drug or “trap” house operated by Benny Clay and LaQuincy Bryant.
Bryant testified that before the homicide, he had helped a man named “Travis” cook crack from a significant amount of powdered cocaine that Travis had stolen. At that same time, Bryant also helped another neighborhood drug dealer, Tamir Harris, make crack from powdered cocaine Harris had stolen from Travis.
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Harris said he had been getting his cocaine from Gomillion, but quit after handling the supply that had been stolen. Gomillion then started asking questions about his stolen cocaine, Harris testified.
Harris said that later he was out on the street when someone in dark clothes and a mask shot at him, but missed.
Earlier on the day Chaney was shot, Gomillion came by the drug house looking for Bryant, who was not there. At 9 p.m., Chaney was sitting inside the house, using a chair by a window where Bryant usually sat, with only the back of his head visible to someone outside.
Like Bryant, Chaney's hair was in dreadlocks.
A shot came through the window, hitting Chaney in the neck. He bled to death.
Police arriving at the scene questioned Clay, who told them he saw Gomillion in the backyard of the house right before the shooting, and afterward saw the gunman pull his mask off under a streetlight, again recognizing Gomillion. Other witnesses who called 911 reported hearing shots and seeing someone in dark clothing and a mask run away.
Also testifying was Richard Crowley, who said he and Gomillion had a dispute over a drug house in 2001, and Gomillion shot him five times in the back hours afterward. A witness said the gunman who shot Crowley wore dark clothing and a mask. Gomillion pleaded guilty and was sentenced to probation in that case.
After arresting Gomillion in Chaney’s homicide, police impounded his black Chevrolet Impala and found dark clothes and a blue ski mask inside it.
A woman testified that the day of the shooting, she saw Gomillion cleaning and loading hollow-point bullets into a .357 Magnum, and overheard him on the telephone saying, “This is what I do to someone who steals from me: Murder, b---h.” The bullet that killed Chaney was a .38-caliber hollow point, which authorities said could have been fired from a .357.