1 suspect pleads guilty in Eldorado murder case
3 other counts dismissed by the state
TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) - One person charged in the shooting death of an Eldorado storekeeper will not go to trial.
Nathaniel Day decided Monday morning to plead guilty to felony murder. The three other counts Day was facing — malice murder, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit a felony — were dismissed by the state.
Akhtar “Oscar” Perveez was found dead inside the store after what appeared to be a robbery at the Eldorado Food Mart at US 41 South and Omega-Eldorado Road in July 2018.
Day is expected to receive life in prison, with the possibility of parole. Day is also expected to plead guilty in a Ben Hill County armed robbery case at a later date.
Two others charged in the murder are still slated for trial. Alexis McCrary’s trial is likely to be set for next year, according to officials. Caleb Day will have a court appearance on Nov. 22.
McCrary, Nathaniel Day and Caleb Day were all indicted in 2018 for malice murder, felony murder, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit a felony.
Prosecutors told WALB that they have filed a death penalty notice for Caleb Day in this case.
The Tift County ommunity is reacting to Monday’s plea and sentencing along with remembering Perveez.
Tony Tripp knew him well and frequented Perveez’s store every morning.
“This was my routine,” Tripp said. "Most of the time, I had to wake him up to tell him it’s time to open the store.”
He added: "It feels a little bit weird. It’s something I’ve gotta come to grips with.”
Tripp has mixed feelings about Nathaniel Day’s sentencing.
“I’m not entirely satisfied no," Tripp said. "I was happy that it turned out the way it did. That he did in fact at least got some kind of punishment but it needs to be harsher punishment than that because my friend lost his life.”
Tripp said he and Perveez called each other “Bubba.”
“I was probably one of his closest friends, probably known him as good as anybody did," he said. "This place lost a super nice person.”
WALB met Tripp at the scene of his friend’s death to hear how he took the news of his friend’s passing.
“Almost two weeks after that, I still showed up at the store,” Tripp said. "I have a parking spot. Everybody knows that’s my parking spot. I would show up at the store and I would just sit in my truck and cry.”
He remembers a time when Perveez put together a bag full of food for hungry shoplifters. Tripp said that was just one of his many acts of kindness.
"When she took the candy bar out of her purse she had money, he said ‘I know Bubba but now they’re my friends,’” Tripp said.
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