ATLANTA, GA – Attorney General Chris Carr today announced the conviction of Jeffery Rice, 27, of Athens, for his involvement in the Oct. 21, 2022, fatal shooting that occurred on Gaines School Road in Athens-Clarke County. Rice is a confirmed member of the Red Tape Gang, a local hybrid criminal street gang with ties to major national Bloods, including Sex Money Murder and the Rollin’ 20s. The defendant was sentenced to 30 years, with the first 18 years to be served in prison and the remainder on strict probation.
“This conviction is yet another step in our ongoing efforts to dismantle the growing gang networks that continue to incite violence in our communities,” said Carr. “We have been working with the Athens-Clarke County Police Department since the very beginning, and our strong partnership has already resulted in gang members behind bars and even more defendants still facing serious charges. All Georgians deserve to be safe, and we will never stop fighting to rid our streets of this dangerous and criminal activity.”
This case was investigated by the Athens-Clarke County Police Department’s (ACCPD) Homicide and Gang Units with assistance from the Attorney General’s Gang Prosecution Unit. Over the past year, the Attorney General’s Gang Prosecution Unit has worked with ACCPD to indict a total of 15 defendants, including Rice and seven alleged members of the Red Tape Gang. These cases stem from a range of incidents, including fatal shootings, assault and robbery.
“I am proud of our investigators and thankful to our state partners for their work on this case,” said Athens-Clarke County Police Chief Jerry Saulters. “The Athens-Clarke County Police Department remains committed to combatting violent street gangs and will continue dedicating its resources to removing violent criminals from the streets of the Athens community.”
Jeffery Rice Conviction
On Aug. 14, 2023, Rice pleaded guilty to the following charges:
- 1 count of Voluntary Manslaughter
- 1 count of Aggravated Assault
- 1 count of Aggravated Battery
- 4 counts of Violation of the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act
- 1 count of Criminal Damage to Property in the First Degree
- 1 count of Driving While License Suspended
This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Ryan Piechocinski, who serves as the Assistant Chief of the Attorney General’s Gang Prosecution Unit.
On Oct. 21, 2022, Jeffery Rice drove his vehicle into the parking lot of the Citgo gas station on Gaines School Road in Athens-Clarke County. Riding in the car with Rice was fellow gang member Alijah Nelson. Upon entering the parking lot, Rice and Nelson saw a rival gang member walking past their vehicle. Rice abruptly stopped his vehicle and both he and Nelson exited. Nelson immediately opened fire at the rival gang member, and Rice is believed to have fired at least once before his gun jammed. The rival gang member received multiple gunshot wounds to his abdomen and back but was able to return fire in self-defense, killing Alijah Nelson in the process.
On Oct. 28, 2022, Rice was arrested by ACCPD for the death of Alijah Nelson. He was indicted by the Attorney General’s Gang Prosecution Unit in January 2023.
About the Attorney General’s Gang Prosecution Unit
Last year, with the support of Governor Brian Kemp and members of the General Assembly, Attorney General Chris Carr created Georgia’s first statewide Gang Prosecution Unit.
Since it began its historic work on July 1, 2022, the Gang Prosecution Unit has indicted 85 alleged gang members in Athens-Clarke, Barrow, Bryan, Cobb, Dougherty, Gwinnett, Muscogee, and Thomas counties.
The Gang Prosecution Unit is housed in the Attorney General’s Prosecution Division, which also includes Carr’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit and his Public Integrity and White Collar Crime Unit.
The statewide Gang Prosecution Unit is based in Atlanta, with regional, satellite prosecutors and investigators in Albany and Augusta, Georgia.