ATLANTA -- It started with a simple errand: a trip to the store for pepperoni pizza Hot Pockets. It ended in murder, a SWAT standoff, and a life sentence.
Nathaniel Mathis asked his sister and her boyfriend, Rodney Benton, to pick up the Hot Pockets on June 11, 2016. But when they got to the store, the pepperoni Hot Pockets were sold out. Mathis's sister called him and broke the news.
When the couple went to buy the other food using Mathis's EBT card, they realized the PIN had been charged. He allowed her to use the card as compensation for rent, and his sister called back and fought about the card when it didn't work.
The couple went home without the Hot Pockets, or any food.
When they got home, "the defendant was home and still upset when he approached the SUV", a spokesperson for the Fulton County District Attorney said. Mathis approached the passenger side of his sister's black GMC Envoy said, "You know what's going on!" and shot Benton eight times.
A neighbor witnessed the murder and was able to positively identify him as the shooter.
Mathis ran from the scene to a nearby Atlanta Park. He was armed with a .40 caliber pistol when he approached a woman and asked her to deliver a message to his sister.
"I just snapped. I love her and didn't mean for it to happen this way," the woman later told police Mathis told her. She immediately called police.
When officers arrived, Mathis was in a wooded area. He was shirtless and pointing a gun at his own head. After two hours of failed negotiations, SWAT officers safely ended the standoff when they shot Mathis with a beanbag gun.
A Fulton County jury returned a guilty verdict against Mathis on charges of murder, criminal charges of property in the first degree, possession of firearm by first offender probationer, and possession of firearm during commission of a felony. He was sentenced to life in prison plus ten years.
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