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"Bloodlust" drove Ga. man who killed four, police say

DECATUR, Ga. - A man accused of killing three homeless men and a woman walking to her car near Atlanta initially set out to rob people but was driven by a "bloodlust" after killing his first victim, according to a court filing.

Aeman Presley, 34, faces charges including murder in the killings of two homeless men in Atlanta, a man sleeping outside a shopping center in neighboring DeKalb County and a hairdresser who was heading home after a dinner out with friends in a nearby suburb. The Fulton County and DeKalb County district attorneys have both said they intend to seek the death penalty against him.

Presley took a Greyhound bus from Los Angeles to Atlanta in May 2014 "hoping to rejuvenate his beleaguered acting career," according to a sworn statement by an investigator with the Fulton County district attorney's office. The statement was made in support of a request for a search warrant to obtain Presley's cellphone records.

Presley moved into a homeless shelter in Atlanta and took odd jobs at a restaurant and catering company to make money. But as his money began to run out, he sought other ways to earn a living, the statement says. He bought a Taurus .45 revolver "from someone on the street" in August and took a bus to DeKalb County on Sept. 26 intending to find someone to rob, the statement says.

He saw a man, later identified as 53-year-old Calvin Gholston, sleeping in a breezeway at a shopping center, and instead of trying to rob him, Presley shot him three times, killing him, the statement says.

"Immediately thereafter, Presley experienced a self-described adrenaline fueled high," the statement says. "This high manifested into a 'bloodlust' which compelled Presley to commit two more murders in Fulton County."

Presley approached 42-year-old Dorian Jenkins on Nov. 23 as he slept wrapped in blankets on a sidewalk in Atlanta and shot him three times in the chest, the statement says. A few days later, on Nov. 26, he shot and killed 68-year-old Tommy Mims as he slept under a railway bridge, the statement says.

As he walked back to a transit station after shooting Mims, he saw two more homeless men, the statement says.

"Since he was 'getting off on killing people,' he wanted to kill them, too," the statement says. "He decided, however, that doing so would increase his chances of apprehension."

He also wasn't sure he had actually killed Mims, so he went back and shot Mims two more times in the head, the statement says.

On the night of Dec. 6, Presley went to downtown Decatur, right next to Atlanta, looking for someone to rob, the statement says. He spotted 44-year-old Karen Pearce walking alone near a parking garage. He pulled out his gun, ordered her to the ground and asked for her wallet. Even though she obeyed all his orders, he shot her once in the chest, the statement says.

But he didn't feel the same rush when he killed Pearce as when he killed the others, the statement says.

Presley told investigators he never meant to kill a woman, so he felt remorse and decided to stop killing and pursue his acting career. He was arrested Dec. 11 as he tried to pass through a turnstile at a train station downtown without paying. He was on his way to see a photographer for headshots, the statement says.

Atlanta police Detective David Quinn interviewed Presley for about six hours after his arrest. Presley confessed to the four killings and told the detective about his life, the statement says.

Presley didn't believe he was "a biologically malevolent person," but he felt that some of his experiences gave him a "murderous spirit," the statement says. Those experiences included: his father's early death, his mother's illness when he was young and seeing others abuse her, his involvement in the Gangster Disciples street gang in Chicago, and the violent lyrics of rap music.

Also in Presley's court file is a handwritten letter to the court clerk asking for a new preliminary hearing. He said he didn't understand what he was doing when he waived his hearing on the advice of his public defender.

"I wanted to be present. I did not want to waive my preliminary," Presley wrote. "They talked me out of it."

Overton Thierry, the public defender named in the letter, did not immediately return an email seeking comment Monday. New lawyers specializing in death penalty defense have taken over Presley's case.

Presley appeared for the first time before a DeKalb County judge Monday where he pleaded not guilty in the killing of Calvin Gholston.

He is scheduled to appear in court on May 27 in connection with Karen Pearce's killing.

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