Four men who were accused of beating an Iraq War veteran to death outside a Smyrna apartment complex last year have pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and aggravated battery.
34-year-old Zach Gamble, a Marine who had served two combat tours in Iraq, was found severely beaten outside the Concord Chase apartment complex on March 25, 2012. He died from his injuries two weeks later.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitutionreports that the men accused of beating Gamble, Arthur Lynell Batchelor, 38, of Acworth; Tarell Winston Secrest, 37, of Marietta; Jason Scott Hill, 36, of Marietta; and Sean DGene Hall, 39, of Mableton pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and aggravated battery Wednesday morning in a Cobb County courthouse.
The four men will spend the next 20 years of their lives behind bars.
According to investigators, Gamble was at the Smyrna apartment complex on March 25 to celebrate Secrest's birthday. Gamble was allegedly asked to leave after sharing disturbing stories from his service overseas. The Marine was confronted in the parking lot by one of the four men, and investigators say Gamble threw the first punch. The three other suspects then began attacking him.
Gamble was not discovered until later that morning, when a taxi driver struck him while backing into a parking space. Investigators determined that the beating, not the taxi, was the primary cause of Gamble's death.