Cop: Gwinnett murder suspect followed victims home from QT


Terrence Darnell Lee chose his victims while sitting in a car at the QuikTrip on Centerville Highway in Snellville at least three times, a Gwinnett County detective testified Thursday.

One of those victims, 27-year-old Kemar Hawkins, ended up dead after Lee allegedly shot him during an Aug. 2 home invasion. 


PREVIOUSLY | Cops say man accused of deadly Gwinnett home invasion tied to other alleged crimes

READ | Gwinnett man raped woman he met at pool party, police say


Lee is charged with 46 different criminal counts in Gwinnett County, according to jail records: one count of felony murder, 11 counts of aggravated assault, 11 counts of false imprisonment, 12 counts of armed robbery, seven weapons charges and a felony probation violation charge.

Lee faced a hearing on 20 of these charges Thursday; the murder charge had been addressed in an August hearing. The Thursday hearing was to establish whether there was probable cause for the case to move forward.

At the hearing, Detective Michael Poppe said that Lee followed a group of men home from the Centerville Highway QuikTrip after 3 a.m. on May 6. Six men were hanging out in a bedroom on Hidden Bluff Way when Lee walked in, holding a gun, Poppe said. Lee threatened to shoot them if they looked at him, according to Poppe. When one man looked at Lee, the suspect made him stand up and held a gun to his head before forcing him back to the ground, Poppe said.

Lee forced the men to hand over money, phones and other items, fired a shot and left. The gunshot did not hit anybody.

When Poppe got the case, he suspected the men may have been followed from another location because the home invasion occurred so late at night. The men told him that they had gone to QuikTrip about 30 minutes before the incident. When Poppe reviewed security footage, he saw a silver Chevrolet Malibu arrive at the gas station and park at a pump before following the men. Lee’s mother had rented a silver Malibu during the time of the home invasion, Poppe said.

In two other cases, one in late July and the Aug. 2 home invasion during which Kemar Hawkins was fatally shot, Poppe saw vehicles tied to Lee arrive at the QT and park at a pump before also following those victims.

Lee’s attorney David Whitman asked for the charges addressed in Thursday’s hearing to be dismissed, saying the evidence was not strong enough. Gwinnett County Magistrate Judge Bob Mitchum denied the request to dismiss, finding probable cause to have the charges proceed. 

Lee is being held without bond at the Gwinnett County Detention Center. The issue of bond will be addressed at a later date by the Gwinnett County Superior Court.


Like Gwinnett County News on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter and Instagram

Stay up to the minute with breaking news on Channel 2 Action News This Morning


In other news:



Next Up in Local

WEDNESDAY’S WEATHER-TRAFFIC: Temps will remain well above average as North Georgia stays dry
WEDNESDAY’S WEATHER-TRAFFIC: Temps will remain well above average as North Georgia stays dry

Wednesday: High: 92 Wednesday night: Low: 72 Thursday: High: 92 The average temperature this time of year is 81 degrees. After all, Saturday is the first day of fall. However, this week hasn’t been average at all. Just like Monday and Tuesday, the next three days should all be at least 10 degrees warmer than normal, Channel 2 Action...
APD sergeant awarded $100K from Forsyth County after false DUI arrest
APD sergeant awarded $100K from Forsyth County after false DUI arrest

An Atlanta police sergeant was awarded more than $100,000 of Forsyth County taxpayer money after a lawsuit was settled last week because he was erroneously arrested for a DUI, Channel 2 Action News reported.  In August 2017, Sgt. Paul Sparwath called 911 when he saw some teenagers acting suspiciously in his Forsyth County neighborhood and possibly...
GBI artist hopes facial reconstruction will help ID remains found in Buford
GBI artist hopes facial reconstruction will help ID remains found in Buford

Human remains found in the Buford area have gone unidentified since they were discovered in 2015. However, a GBI forensic artist hopes a new model will trigger someone’s memory, Channel 2 Action News reported. “I just have a good feeling about it,” the GBI’s Kelly Lawson said of her 3D facial reconstruction. RELATED: Gwinnett...
School crossing guard hit while directing traffic; driver allegedly using phone
School crossing guard hit while directing traffic; driver allegedly using phone

A crossing guard at North Hall High School was hit by a vehicle while she was directing traffic Tuesday, a school system spokesman told AJC.com. Ashley Parr, 21, of Gillsville, was struck by a vehicle because a driver was allegedly distracted by his phone, and she was thrown 12 to 15 feet onto the road, Georgia State Patrol said in a news release....
Music for your commute: 9 times MARTA is mentioned in rap songs
Music for your commute: 9 times MARTA is mentioned in rap songs

Love or hate MARTA, it’s hard to deny its place in Atlanta’s culture. The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority began running in 1972 and has been helping Atlantans avoid the city’s traffic and get from one place to another since then. And over that time, MARTA has given plenty of rides to aspiring rappers, apparently. It&rsquo...
More Stories