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Man gets life for New Year's Day slaying of teen at home in southwest Atlanta

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A man threatened and killed a teenager last year on New Year’s Day outside a home in southwest Atlanta. He then told police it was self defense.

Ronnie “Bo” Clay, 39, was convicted Thursday of murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in the shooting of 18-year-old Jared Billings, according to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.

The shooting happened on Jan. 1, 2013 at a home on Epworth Street, the district attorney’s spokeswoman Yvette Jones said. Witnesses said Clay arrived at the home on Dec. 31 drunk and high and repeatedly pointed a gun in the victim’s face, Jones said. Eventually, the victim retrieved a knife from the kitchen and ordered the defendant to leave, Jones said.

The next day Clay and the victim were arguing on the front porch of the home when Clay pulled out a gun and shot the victim once in the chest, she said. He fired three more shots as he ran away from the scene, Jones said. Billings stumbled into the house and proclaimed that “Bo shot me,” she said. The teen was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital where he died a short time later, officials said.

Following his arrest days later, Clay claimed he shot the victim in self-defense because he was being robbed at knife-point, Jones said. It’s unclear if police ever found the murder weapon.

On Thursday, it took a Fulton County jury less the 15 minutes to return multiple guilty verdicts. Following his conviction, Clay was sentenced to life plus 10 years in prison by a Fulton County Superior Court Judge Henry Newkirk, Jones said.

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