A Chattooga County jury convicted Dylon Dave Allen and Zaykives Banard McCray of Malice Murder, Felony Murder, Armed Robbery, Aggravated Assault, and multiple other counts related to a January 15, 2016 incident at the Melanie Inn Convenience Store located on Hawkins Drive in Summerville. That evening, Allen and McCray had arranged transportation from Rome to Summerville through Shannon Coalson and Thyis Green, acquaintances who were unaware of their intentions to rob a convenience store. Allen and McCray entered the Melanie Inn Convenience store wearing masks and multiple layers of clothing. Immediately upon entry, McCray shoved Melvin Fife, a customer, to the ground while Allen discharged one round from his firearm, striking the clerk, Chiragkumar Patel, in the abdomen. The two men loaded items from the cash register area including cigars, cigarettes, lighters, and Doritos bags, and proceeded to beat and taunt Patel with their hands and with the firearm in an unsuccessful attempt to get him to open the cash register. As they were exiting the convenience store, they encountered Kaine Darden, and pointed the firearm at him before running back towards their vehicle.
Mr. Patel later died from his gunshot wound. A joint investigation between the Summerville Police Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation led to the arrest of Allen and McCray after they were identified by multiple eyewitnesses as being involved. Items from the robbery, including cigars, cigarettes, and lighters were located in an apartment in Rome where Allen had been staying, and some of the items contained fingerprints belonging to McCray. Additionally, while reviewing the surveillance video of the robbery, officers observed one of the robbers had a unique triangular birthmark on his hand which was matched to McCray.
Judge Kristina Cook Graham presided over the trial. Allen was represented by Steve Miller, and McCray was represented by Jad Johnson. The State was represented by Kevin Baugh and Chris Arnt. The Defendants each received a sentence of Life plus 35 years in prison.