Conviction upheld as ruling reveals new details on Augusta murder

Kaovion Dickey
Kaovion Dickey(WRDW)
Published: Apr. 19, 2022 at 1:18 PM EDT
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ATLANTA (WRDW/WAGT) - In a ruling that reveals new details about an Augusta killing, the Georgia Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a conviction and life sentence for a 2018 murder outside a gas station.

Kaovion Dickey had challenged his 2020 convictions for malice murder and other crimes in connection with the shooting death of Tony McGowan and the shooting of Mikeem Jackson.

McGowan, 27, died and Jackson was injured in the shooting on June 13, 2018, at a Chevron at Broad Street and East Boundary. Deputies were able to locate and arrest Dickey, then 16, along with Jatavisa Jones and Phillip Leach in connection with the shooting.

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At a joint trial from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, 2020, a jury acquitted Dickey of attempted armed robbery but found him guilty of the remaining charges. The jury found Jones guilty on the two firearm possession counts but otherwise acquitted him, and the jury acquitted Leach of all charges.

The trial court sentenced Dickey to serve life in prison for malice murder, a consecutive term of 10 years for aggravated assault and a total of 10 years of probation for the two firearm-possession convictions; the felony murder verdict was vacated as a result of the court proceedings.

In his appeal, Dickey admitted a shooting occurred at the gas station that resulted in McGowan’s death but contended the evidence was insufficient to show that he was present at the scene of the shooting, much less that he was a participant in it.

“However, the evidence was sufficient for the jury to conclude that Appellant was guilty, so we affirm,” the Georgia Supreme Court said Tuesday in upholding the conviction.

Dickey is being held at the Coastal State Prison in Garden City, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.

How the crime unfolded

According to the Supreme Court’s decision, the shooting happened after Jackson and McGowan had been playing video games and decided to drive to the gas station for some snacks.

When they arrived, three people later identified as Dickey, Jones and Leach were in the parking lot, according to the court’s opinion.

Jackson went inside the store and bought snacks and cigarettes.

As he exited the store with a cigarette in hand, he heard someone ask for a light.

Jackson walked over to Dickey, Jones, and Leach and pulled out his lighter. Some money fell out of Jackson’s pocket, and after handing over the lighter, he bent down to pick it up, according to the ruling.

As he stood back up, Jones grabbed him forcefully by the left shoulder, according to the ruling.

Jackson, who was unarmed, turned toward Jones, who pulled a gun out of his right pocket, according to the ruling.

Jackson reached for the gun and a struggle ensued, with the two men falling to the ground.

Dickey and Leach circled around them, “egging” Jones on, as a man in a truck in the parking lot later described it. Another witness described the altercation as being “three on one,” according to the ruling.

While Jackson was on the ground struggling with Jones, he saw McGowan, who also was unarmed, running over to help.

Jackson heard a gunshot, and McGowan fell to the ground. Jackson then managed to get on top of Jones and heard another gunshot, this time closer. As Jackson stood up, he realized that he had been shot in the back.

As Jackson ran from the gas station, he heard a gun jam behind him. He went to his mother’s house, and she took him to the hospital. McGowan also was taken to the hospital, where he died.

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