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A 20-year-old Georgia man has been found guilty of luring a woman to an isolated side road, fatally beating her with a baseball bat, and then dumping her body in the trunk of a car outside a Waffle House.
Jared Kemp was found guilty of murder, felony murder, armed robbery, hijacking a motor vehicle, and aggravated assault by a Fulton County jury on Thursday in the Christmas 2017 slaying of Toni Abad, according to officials.
On a winter evening in 2017, Kemp’s then-18-year-old girlfriend, De’Asia Page, was allegedly lingering outside a Publix grocery store in the Atlanta suburbs of Fairburn, Georgia. It was four days before Christmas. Page approached Toni Abad, an employee at the store, as she was leaving and asked for a ride, Atlanta Fulton Country District Attorney's Office stated in a press release.
Abad obliged and was allegedly directed by Page to a deserted side road off Cascade Palmetto Highway, roughly five miles away. There, Kemp sprang from a wooded area with a baseball bat in hand. He smashed out the 58-year-old mother's window and fatally beat her with a baseball bat.
“Kemp proceeded to break the driver’s side window with the bat and then he struck Abad several times,” the press release said. “Abad begged for her life, but Kemp murdered the victim.”
A BB-gun was also supposedly used in the attack, according to an indictment obtained by Oxygen.com.
The couple then drove Abad’s 2012 Ford Fusion to a nearby Waffle House and dumped it, along with her body in the trunk, behind the restaurant. They left the scene on foot, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Kemp and Page also tossed the Publix employee’s cell phone in a wooded area.
A Fulton County police officer was later dispatched the Waffle House after receiving reports of an abandoned vehicle. There, they found Abad's car with its smashed window and her corpse in the back.
Prosecutors said Page confessed to her involvement in the grocery story worker’s death to a security guard at a service station not far from where Abad was clubbed to death. She was arrested on Christmas Eve. She reportedly cooperated with investigators and divulged details of Abad’s killing.
Following Kemp's conviction, Paul L. Howard, Jr., Fulton County District Attorney, referred to Abad's killing as "senseless."
"Our investigation shows, had she been asked, the victim, Toni Abad, would have gladly given these defendants her automobile, her money, her jewelry, or anything else she owned if the defendants said they needed it," Howard, Jr. told Oxygen.com. "Why she was so senselessly beaten to death reflects a tremendous lack of moral fiber and consciousness often observed in serial killers. With this conviction we hope Ms. Abad is resting in peace and her family receives closure.”
Abad, a mother of four, was also a grandmother to five grandchildren and a dedicated employee, officials said. Her children described her as a “caring woman who was always willing to go the extra mile to help others.”
“On behalf of our entire family and friends, we are forever grateful for this verdict,” said Michael Chamblee, Abad’s Son, in a prepared statement shared by Fulton County District Attorney’s office. “We believe justice has been served. Mom was loved by so many, even more than she realized.”
Kemp’s sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 29. He faces life in prison.
“I’m not in a position to make any comment until that time,” public defender Brandi Reeves, Kemp’s attorney, told Oxygen.com on Friday.
No date has been set as of yet for Page’s trial, who will be tried by a Fulton County Superior Court Jury, prosecutors said.
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