According to a public information release from the office of Cobb County District Attorney Flynn Broady, Jr., a Marietta man, Melvin Eugene Ward, Sr., was convicted on June 16 of armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and given a life prison sentence plus five years.
Ward is required to serve 35 years before he is eligible for parole.
The incident leading to the conviction took place on February 27, 2019.
The DA’s public information release described the incident as follows:
On that day, the hotel manager of the Cumberland Lodge testified Ward inquired as to the amount of rent due and replied with a strange look on his face, “I don’t want to have to do something stupid for it.”
Later the same day, Ward took a car for a test drive from a dealership near his hotel room at the Cumberland Lodge. He then drove to Cracker Barrel located at 2150 Delk Road.
He then waited in the rear parking lot.
Two female employees of Wellstar Hospital arrived for lunch and parked in the rear parking lot. Seeing no one else around, Ward quickly approached the women.
He pulled a Taurus .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol from his waistband and pointed it at one of the women while demanding her purse. He ripped the purse from her arms, knocking her to the ground. He ran back to his car and then drove back to his hotel room.
Ward’s arrival and departure from the location were both captured on surveillance cameras.
The Marietta Police Department was able to use the GPS tracking capability on the victim’s phone to track Ward back to his hotel and quickly apprehended him.
Law enforcement located the test drive vehicle with the victim’s property inside and secured a search warrant. Upon execution of the warrant for the vehicle, law enforcement secured the property of the victim, and further located the beanie Ward wore during the robbery, and a pawn ticket with his name and signature on it.
ADA Tony Norton credited the verdict to the sound judgement of the jury and the hard work of Marietta Police Department as well as his trial team. Due to the State’s filing notice of recidivism, Mr. Ward will serve 35 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole.