The family of a Greenville man who was murdered as part of a robbery in 2010 said Tuesday that they can sleep with a little more security since the man accused of his murder was found guilty Tuesday.
Daniel Allen was sentenced to life without parole and received another consecutive life sentence for the Jan. 2, 2010, murder of Dwayne Louder. Allen was one of five people involved in the robbery of Louder, where the victim’s girlfriend and daughter were hog tied as they searched their home for drugs and money.
A Troup County jury found Allen guilty on counts of malice murder, felony murder and kidnapping with bodily injury. Allen, according to prosecutors and witnesses, shot a bound Louder in his vehicle in an area off Smokey Road after the robbery, unloading one gun then shooting him three more times to “make sure he was dead,” said Senior Assistant District Attorney Lynda Caldwell.
The victim’s mother, Shirley Louder, said it had been “a long two years, eight months, 26 days and 13 hours at 1 o’clock since we got the news” of his death. She told the court that her granddaughter, the victim’s daughter, could sleep a little better now, but that the murder of her only son “leaves an empty place that can never be mended.”
She pointed out the senselessness of the killing – the group already had taken the drugs and money they wanted from the victim. She said it was a small blessing that Dwayne Louder’s girlfriend and daughter were spared his fate.
Shirley Louder told Allen that the family hoped he would now be constantly looking over his shoulder in fear the way they have been the last two years.
Dee Copeland, the victim’s sister, read a poem to the court that was written by Dwayne Louder’s classmates. Louder’s girlfriend, in a short, tearful address, told Allen she and her daughter could sleep better at night knowing he would be behind bars, but there was still a part of their hearts missing that could never be replaced.
Caldwell, before Superior Court Judge Quillian Baldwin made his decision on sentencing, said Allen should receive life without parole because he “represents a significant threat to the community.”
“He should never be allowed to walk free,” she said. “He should never, ever, ever be allowed to do this again. That is what he deserves.”
Allen’s defense attorney, Monica Hamlett, asked the judge to allow Allen parole. She said the other co-defendants, who should be considered no less guilty in the case, received plea deals of 15 and 25 years, and one – Sade Davidson, who said she unwittingly was a driver for the robbery – has a recommended deal for 2 years.
“We say Mr. Allen is no more culpable than his co-defendants,” she said.
Baldwin, before announcing his decision, remarked on the apparent callousness of the murder.
“We see a lot of murder cases come across the bench, but seldom do we see one that is as cold-blooded as this is,” Baldwin told Allen. “There was no reason to shoot Mr. Louder. You may not have liked him, he may have crossed you on a deal, but there was no reason to shoot him.”
Baldwin combined the two murder counts for a single life without parole sentence and the consecutive life sentence for the kidnapping with bodily harm charge.
Baldwin asked if Allen had anything to say to the court.
“No, not at this time,” Allen said flatly. “Just that I wish to pursue my appeal.”