(October 26, 2023) District Attorney Keith Higgins announces that an Appling County jury found Ronnie May Jr., 30, of Sandersville, Georgia guilty of Malice Murder, Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault and Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Felony in the shooting death of Lennal Dasher, 29, of Baxley, Georgia on Thursday, October 19, 2023, after four days of trial. The jury only needed 45 minutes of deliberations to return their guilty verdicts.
The evidence presented at trial showed that on May 6, 2022, a party was held at a residence on Warrick Lane in Baxley in an area commonly referred to as ‘21’ or ’21 Jump.’ During the party, an argument started between Mr. Dasher and Shavutea Nails, who was May’s girlfriend. Multiple witnesses observed May attempt to exit his vehicle with a firearm. The owner of the residence, Michael Crayton, told May not to make a decision ‘he’d regret forever’ and had Dasher walk away to cool off from the argument with May’s girlfriend. Dasher and another party-goer walked to a nearby park to smoke.
Within minutes of arriving at the park, May picked up Dasher in his vehicle. DeShawd Smith was also in the vehicle. According to Smith, May drove to a secluded area on James Drive in Baxley. May, Dasher, and Smith got out of the vehicle and walked down a dirt road. May then shot Dasher in the back of the head with a .22 caliber firearm. May then turned the flashlight on his phone on to confirm Dasher was dead. May saw Dasher’s eyes were still moving with the light so May shot him again in the face. At that time, May recovered the spent shell casing from the crime scene and left the area with Smith. A receipt for a .22 caliber firearm was found in May’s car. The firearm was consistent with the description of the firearm witnesses gave that May had the night of the murder.
According to Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Whitney Bradford, who prosecuted the case, “May was callous in his execution of Lennal Dasher. What started as a trivial argument between cousins turned into the senseless, brutal murder of Lennal Dasher.”
Sentencing will be held on November 3, 2023. May faces a mandatory life in prison sentence with the only issue being whether it will be with or without the possibility of parole.