Reginald Lofton was only 14-years-old when, police say, he shot and killed 28-year-old Shane Varnadore on March 1.
Varnadore, a Papa John’s Pizza driver, was delivering pizza to the Wesley Herrington Apartments in Gwinnett County when he was shot.
Police arriving at the crime scene found Varnadore curled up in a fetal position. He was unresponsive with no pulse. They found his car, cash, cell phone, and an empty pizza carrier nearby.
Lofton, now 15, faces counts of murder, felony murder, armed robbery and aggravated assault. His trial got underway Tuesday. Lofton is being tried as an adult.
In her opening statement to the jury, Lofton’s attorney, Leanne Chancey said her client is only guilty of being stupid. “But he’s not guilty of participating in this armed robbery that led to Mr. Varnadore’s death.”
Lofton’s sister — who he moved in with after his mother died in Chicago — will testify next week that Lofton strolled into her apartment carrying boxes of pizza the night of the murder.
She will say she overheard her brother ordering pizza, and she watched as he walked into her apartment with the pies, “cool as a cucumber.”
Police believe Lofton and an accomplice, 21-year-old Jermaine Young (who will be tried separately) killed Varnadore.
The AJC.com reports that police linked the phone number used to call Papa John’s that night to Lofton and Young’s Facebook pages. Images found on both Facebook pages showed the suspects posing with the murder weapon.
Authorities don’t know which one pulled the trigger.
Assistant District Attorney Sabrina Nizam says it doesn’t matter who fired the kill shot. Under Georgia laws, both Lofton and Young are equally responsible for Varnadore’s death.
“It took two people to kill Shane Varnadore,” Nizam said.