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Conyers man sentenced to life for friend's murder in Covington

COVINGTON -- Roland Lebaron Wilson Jr. was sentenced Monday to life for the murder of his friend in Covington in 2009.

Last week, a Newton County jury found Wilson, 26, 2914 Chesterfield Way in Conyers, guilty on two counts of felony murder and two counts of aggravated battery. On Monday afternoon, Newton County Superior Court Judge Eugene M. Benton sentenced him to life with a chance of parole after 30 years.

Wilson took the stand in his own defense during the trial, saying that he did not hit his friend, William Okafor, in the head with a brick, which resulted in Okafor's death in late July 2009.

Okafor's mother, Carletta Sharp, also testified that she saw him hit her then-21-year-old son in the head with a large landscaping brick near the porch of her home at 85 Fairclift Drive during the late evening of Sunday, July 26, 2009; she employed Wilson, her son and some others through her cleaning business. Additionally, Okafor's sister testified Tuesday that her now-late father identified Wilson to her on the phone as the person who beat her brother in the presence of three other unidentified accomplices.

Wilson admitted coming to Okafor's home that evening with three other men and getting into an argument with him about a stolen video game.

After a physical altercation between him and Okafor, Wilson alleges that he saw his friend Alfred Bryant slam what he later identified as a brick up against the back of Okafor's head. Bryant has yet to be detained or charged.