Oxygen’s ‘Real Murders of Atlanta: Murder in College Town’ follows the brutal murder of an 18-year-old teen Darius Bottoms in Atlanta, Georgia, in June 2014. The police solved the highly sensationalized case within a couple of weeks amid tremendous political and media pressure, with the victim being related to an influential politician. If you’re interested in learning more about the case, including the perpetrators’ identities and whereabouts, we’ve your back. Here’s what we know so far.
How Did Darius Bottoms Die?
Darius Bottoms was born to Darian Bottoms and Jared Robinson in Atlanta in Fulton County, Georgia, on August 5, 1995. He was erstwhile mayor-elect Keisha Lance Bottoms’s nephew, who went on to serve the Atlanta mayor’s office in January 2017. Darius’ friends and family described him as a disciplined and well-behaved person who liked to follow the rules and never troubled his parents.
The teenager and his friend, Jared Robinson, had been visiting a friend in an apartment near the intersection of Legacy Drive and Sells Avenue in the early morning hours of June 13, 2014. They had driven to the friend’s apartment in Darius’ new silver four-door Hyundai Elantra, a gift to him from his grandfather. He and Jared left the apartment around 4:00 AM and walked to the car, parked down the hill from the intersection of Legacy Drive and Sells Avenue.
According to Jared, they were pulling out of the parking scene onto Legacy Drive, facing toward the top of the hill, when an unidentified male charged at them. He ran down the hill, yelling and pointing aggressively at the two friends. The stranger started shooting at them rapidly, striking Darius through the windshield with a single gunshot from a 9mm handgun. He died at the scene from the fatal gunshot wound to his head.
Who Killed Darius Bottoms?
Jared later told the police how he could escape the scene but noticed another individual shooting from near the stop sign at the top of Legacy Drive. He also informed the authorities he wore contact lenses because he suffered from eyesight problems but had forgotten to wear his lens that day. Law enforcement officials eventually confirmed Jared’s claims of two different shooters when they discovered 17 shell casings from two different guns at the crime scene — eleven 9mm Luger shell casings and six 9mm Jimenez handgun casings.
According to the show, two rival gangs — Billy Bad Asses Bloods and Neighborhood Bloods/Rolling Twenties Blood (NHB) — were involved in an ongoing dispute related, at least partly, to the recent decision of one member, Kareasha Washington. She had decided to leave the Billy Bad Asses Bloods gang and join the NHB because members of her former crew thought she was involved in the death of another gang member. Meanwhile, Rashad Barber, David Dajunta Wallace, and Ryan Bowdery were members of the NHB gang.
Court documents state James Terrel, a friend of Rashad’s stepfather, Jasen Williams, reported his 2014 beige, four-door Hyundai Elantra stolen from outside the latter’s house on June 9, 2014. Rashad used to live there until just a few weeks before the vehicle was reported stolen. On June 12, 2014, he, Kareasha, David, and another accomplice drove a stolen car to the Arrowhead Pawn Shop in Clayton County around 6:20 PM. Authorities obtained video surveillance from the shop to find them looking at guns.
Rashad’s mother, Selena Barber, accompanied Jasen to the hospital but did not tell the former about the shooting. She was apparently afraid of what her hot-headed son might do on receiving the news. However, Selena reported the shooting to the authorities, alleging it might be related to his dispute with the Billy gang. Within hours of the shooting, Rashad learned that Jasen had been shot, and he, David, Kareasha, and Ryan got together. The four drove around in a stolen car with Kareasha in the driver’s seat and David in the front passenger seat.
Ryan and Rashad allegedly carried a revolver and a 9mm handgun and occupied the rear seats. According to Kareasha, she had made plans to meet with a friend, a member of the Billy gang near Legacy Drive and Sells Avenue in Fulton County, to settle the dispute. She told the police how she and David sat in the car while Ryan and Rashad got outside after they reached the arranged spot. Instead, she saw both of them run around the corner at Legacy Drive and Sells Avenue intersection, followed by multiple gunshots.
When they returned to the car, David was in the driver’s seat and drove away from the scene. Kareasha alleged she heard Rashad repeatedly say, “That was the Billy, that was the Billy who shot up my Mama’s house.” She cooperated with the authorities and helped the police identify Rashad, David, and Ryan. The investigators also found cell phone evidence that indicated Kareasha and David were together on June 13, 2014, in the area near Legacy Drive between 3:42 AM and 3:59 AM, just before the shooting occurred.
Where Are Ryan Bowdery, David Dajunta Wallace, and Rashad Barber Now?
The police scoured cell phone records to find connections between Kareasha, Rashad, and David leading up to the robbery in the pawn shop parking lot and the shooting of Darius. Furthermore, they discovered the four had been in touch throughout the day of the shooting. With help from Kareasha, the police arrested David a week after the murder, and he owned one of the guns used in the murder. Rashad and Ryan were also arrested shortly after.
23-year-old Ryan, 22-year-old David, and 19-year-old Rashad were convicted in December 2017 of felony murder and other charges. According to court documents, they had shot Darius, mistaking him as a rival gang member who had shot Rashad’s stepfather. Since the unknown assailant and Rashad both owned a light-colored vehicle of similar make, they thought the mayor’s nephew was involved in the shooting.
All three were sentenced to life in prison plus additional time. According to official sources, Rashad Barber is incarcerated at the Ware State Prison in Waycross, Georgia. On the other hand, Ryan Bowdery is serving his sentence a the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison near Jackson, and David Wallace is incarcerated at Hays State Prison, Trion.
Read More: John “J.J.” Rush Murder: How Did He Die? Who Killed Him?