3-year-old killed by stray bullet, case reaches plea deal

Court records show the deal calls for the defendant to serve 13 years in prison, and 7 years on probation. The victim’s grandmother says her family doesn’t approve.

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — The family of a 3-year-old who was murdered on Easter Sunday back in 2018 is speaking out against a plea deal for the suspect.

Christopher Cullins, 19, is expected to enter a guilty plea in DeKalb County court for the 2018 killing of 3-year-old T’rhigi Diggs, a spokeswoman with the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office said, and the proposed terms of the deal will be presented to a judge during Friday’s hearing.

“We have been in regular contact with the family and discussed the plea with them,” the spokeswoman said.

Diggs’ grandmother said on Thursday, “The family is definitely not ok” with the plea deal.

Court records show the deal calls for Cullins to enter a guilty plea to charges of voluntary manslaughter and possession of a firearm during a felony in exchange for 13 years in prison and seven years on probation.

Cullins, who was 15-years-old at the time of the shooting, was initially charged as an adult with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during a felony.

His attorney with the DeKalb County Public Defender’s Office wrote 11Alive by e-mail Thursday, “I cannot comment on the plea agreement itself, as nothing is final until ordered by the Judge.”

The plea deal now goes to Judge Stacy Hydrick’s courtroom, where she would need to sign off on the terms during Friday’s hearing, according to attorneys.

The toddler’s mother, Roshanda Craig, was driving down Eastland Road late on Easter Sunday in 2018, as her son was asleep in the backseat.

A gunshot hit Diggs at the intersection of Eastland and Bouldercrest roads.

DeKalb County Police, shortly after the shooting, said they were able to find several witnesses who helped investigators determine that the fatal shot came from in front of a gas station at the intersection.

Craig told 11Alive that a gray Dodge Charger had pulled up next to her moving car as she approached the intersection.

She then saw someone in the car pull out what she thought was a paintball gun.

Before she knew it, she heard an actual gunshot.

“My baby was asleep, my baby was asleep,” Craig told 11Alive the day after the shooting. “I saw the paint gun first. I kind of got scared and I couldn’t move and then they just shot my baby. I heard a gunshot.”

“When I turned around, my baby was bleeding,” she said.

An ambulance rushed T’Rhigi to the hospital, where he later died.

During previous court hearings, a DeKalb County Police detective testified how Cullins and others at the gas station had been fired at with paintballs.

Cullins, according to police, grabbed a handgun and shot back at the car the paintballs had come from, but he missed, and a bullet hit Diggs.

The shooting happened at a time when ‘paintball wars’ were taking place in several communities around the country after Atlanta area rapper 21 Savage had been seen on social media discouraging people from gun violence and encouraging people to use paintballs instead.

21 Savage later paid for Diggs’ funeral.

Ten days after the shooting, police arrested Cullins at his middle school.

“The loss of T’Rhigi is tragic and senseless,” said then DeKalb County Police Chief James Conroy after the arrest was made. “It is my hope that this arrest will bring some sense of comfort and closure to his family.”

11Alive News will follow Friday’s scheduled hearing and have updates as available.

Source & Credit: 11alive.com

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