COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Three of the remaining four defendants in the June 2020 shooting death of a Columbus man in the parking lot of a Victory Drive strip club entered guilty pleas Thursday morning in Superior Court. 

They were charged in the death of Samuel London during what police have said was a car-break-in operation in the parking lot of the Foxy Lady Lounge. 

Vic’Trez Thomas, Cecil Berguin and Jyquarious Varner all pled guilty to entering an auto. They were facing felony murder charges. 

Superior Court Judge John Martin followed the recommendation of the attorneys and sentenced each of them to five years in prison, three to serve. Martin denied a request from attorneys for first-offender status. 

Martin noted during the sentencing that “if none of you have had a firearm, we wouldn’t be here right now.” 

At one point, the judge asked Varner if he enjoyed his time in jail. He responded, quietly, “No, sir.” 

The judge noted that the defendants could have been tried on the murder charges. 

“You came as close as you could come to diving into the deep end of the pool,” Martin said. 

That leaves Santonio Williams as the lone defendant not to make a deal. Williams is still facing a felony murder charge, as well as entering an auto. The judge instructed Berguin, Thomas, and Varner that if the Williams case were to be tried and they were called to testify they would have to provide truthful testimony. 

Williams is represented by Michael Garner. Williams is facing unrelated charges.

Raymond Richmond was the first to plead guilty last month. Facing a felony murder charge, Richmond pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, as well as other charges. Martin sentenced him to 30 years in prison, 22 to serve. 

The prosecutor is Christopher George with the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia. He is involved in the case because District Attorney Stacey Jackson had briefly been involved in the defense before he was appointed DA. 

Here is what George said in court last month, and again on Thursday, about the crime. 

“On June 11, 2020, the facts will show this case was called to trial in Muscogee County, Georgia. The victim, Mr. Samuel London, was a patron of the Foxy Lady Lounge, and around 2:14 in the morning the defendant, Mr. Richmond, was outside of the lounge attempting to enter automobiles. The defendant removed his white shirt he was using to cover his hands while he tried to open the doors of parked vehicles. The last vehicle he came to was the one used by Mr. London, a 2019 Jeep Compass. The defendant entered the vehicle through the driver door, attempting to steal items… Mr. London exited the lounge and found the defendant in his car. Mr. London pulled the defendant out of his vehicle; a physical altercation began between the two men. The two fell to the ground, the defendant landed on top of Mr. London. During the altercation a small handgun the defendant brought with him fired striking Mr. London in the abdomen. After Mr. London was shot, the defendant jumped up and fled the scene. This was a very quick altercation judge; it was a matter of seconds.” 

During Thursday’s hearing, George asked each of the three co-defendants who pleaded guilty a series of questions about the crime.  

Thomas was the only one of the three to apologize. He turned as faced London’s sister in the courtroom and offered his apology. The sister thanked him for that.

All the defendants were teenagers at the time of the shooting. Varner told the court he had gone through the ninth grade at Kendrick High School. 

Berguin told the court that he had graduated from Spencer High School.