Man sentenced to life without parole for murder of girlfriend in Marietta

photo of Cobb Superior Court building from the front with a blue sky with clouds in the backgroundCobb County Superior Court (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

According to a public information release from the office of Cobb County District Attorney Flynn D. Broady Jr., Willie Felix Thompson, 63, was found guilty in a jury trial of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, and possession of firearm during commission of a felony for the shooting death of his ex-girlfriend, Felicia Sullivan.

Cobb County Superior Court Judge Angela Z. Brown then sentenced Thompson to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The public information release from the DA’s office described the incident leading up to the trial as follows:

On April 19, 2021, Marietta Police Department responded to a 911 call regarding a person shot at 227 Goldie Drive. Upon arrival, Thompson was found intoxicated outside of the home and his girlfriend, Felicia Sullivan, was shot to death on the floor in the back bedroom they shared. Thompson’s 9mm semi-automatic pistol was found on the bed next to Sullivan. The investigation revealed that Thompson had contacted his sister after killing Sullivan and told her he had shot the victim. The victim and Thompson had been in a long-term romantic relationship with a history of domestic violence. Thompson was arrested that evening on Aggravated Assault and Murder charges.

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Thompson testified during the trial that he acted in self defense, and that the firearm discharged accidentally.

Senior Assistant District Attorney David Williamson presented evidence from “officers and detectives with the Marietta Police Department, Thompson’s family members, the Cobb County Medical Examiner, the GBI Crime Lab, and the victim’s family members,” along with physical evidence including the 9mm pistol and camera video from responding officers.

During the trial the prosecutor requested that hearsay evidence of previous threats against Sullivan by the defendant be admissible. Sullivan had told at least two people of the threats, according to the filing from the DA’s office.

Thompson was defended by A. Lee Fudger.

During the course of the trial the defendant’s attorney requested and received $1500 in funds to hire an investigator to help with Thompson’s defense.

The DA’s trial team included Senior Assistant District Attorney David Williamson, Assistant District Attorney Elena Hernandez, Victim Advocate Ellyn Mills, and Investigator Jonathan Malloy.

Senior ADA Williamson stated, “This murder was the culmination of years of abuse. This verdict and sentence send a sobering reminder about the cycle of violence in domestic abuse. Domestic violence in any form cannot, and will not, be tolerated in Cobb County.”

About the City of Marietta

The City of Marietta is the county seat of Cobb County. The latest estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau puts the population of the city at 60,867 which makes it the largest city in Cobb County by population.

However, the city is in a neck-and-neck race with fast-growing Smyrna, whose population was 56,666 at the last estimate.

Here are a few fast facts from the Census Bureau:

Marietta city, Georgia

Marietta city, Georgia

Persons under 5 years, percent 6.7%
People



Population, Census, April 1, 202060972
Population, Census, April 1, 201056579
Age and Sex

Persons under 5 years, percent 6.7%
Persons under 18 years, percent 21.8%
Persons 65 years and over, percent 13.2%
Female persons, percent 49.9%
Race and Hispanic Origin

White alone, percent 53.4%
Black or African American alone, percent(a) 32.3%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent(a) 0.6%
Asian alone, percent(a) 1.9%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent(a) 0.0%
Two or More Races, percent 4.7%
Hispanic or Latino, percent(b) 15.7%
White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent46.4%
Population Characteristics

Veterans, 2016-20202678
Foreign born persons, percent, 2016-202016.6%
Housing

Owner-occupied housing unit rate, 2016-202044.0%
Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2016-2020$310,100
Median selected monthly owner costs -with a mortgage, 2016-2020$1,856
Median selected monthly owner costs -without a mortgage, 2016-2020$526
Median gross rent, 2016-2020$1,145
Families & Living Arrangements

Households, 2016-202024148
Persons per household, 2016-20202.39
Living in same house 1 year ago, percent of persons age 1 year+, 2016-202077.9%
Language other than English spoken at home, percent of persons age 5 years+, 2016-202023.7%
Computer and Internet Use

Households with a computer, percent, 2016-202095.1%
Households with a broadband Internet subscription, percent, 2016-202086.6%
Education

High school graduate or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2016-202088.6%
Bachelor’s degree or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2016-202044.0%
Health

With a disability, under age 65 years, percent, 2016-20206.3%
Persons without health insurance, under age 65 years, percent 20.2%
Economy

In civilian labor force, total, percent of population age 16 years+, 2016-202067.2%
In civilian labor force, female, percent of population age 16 years+, 2016-202061.2%
Total accommodation and food services sales, 2012 ($1,000)(c)264544
Total health care and social assistance receipts/revenue, 2012 ($1,000)(c)1584232
Total manufacturers shipments, 2012 ($1,000)(c)1129407
Total retail sales, 2012 ($1,000)(c)1976915
Total retail sales per capita, 2012(c)$33,875
Transportation

Mean travel time to work (minutes), workers age 16 years+, 2016-202028.5
Income & Poverty

Median household income (in 2020 dollars), 2016-2020$59,594
Per capita income in past 12 months (in 2020 dollars), 2016-2020$36,112
Persons in poverty, percent 14.1%

Businesses


All firms, 201210501
Men-owned firms, 20124934
Women-owned firms, 20124186
Minority-owned firms, 20124286
Nonminority-owned firms, 20125502
Veteran-owned firms, 20121015
Nonveteran-owned firms, 20128663

Geography


Population per square mile, 20102451.4
Land area in square miles, 201023.08
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