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18-year-old killed by suicidal teens in Georgia

Dakota White and Brandon Warren were depressed teenagers who wanted to kill themselves but first they decided to try it out on someone else.
UPDATED FEB 17, 2020
(Source: Getty Images)
(Source: Getty Images)

Dakota White had a rather hard life. The ninth-grade dropout from Perry, Georgia lived with his grandparents after his father was sent to prison for armed robbery. By the time he was 17, White found himself slipping deeper and deeper into depression. He wrote about his mental health issues on social media. In October 2016, he made a suicide pact with his friend Brandon Warren who was 18 at the time. But the duo decided there was one more thing they needed to do before they left this world.

“We just figured might as well,” he told police, according to 13 WMAZ. “It came down to might as well see how it feels to kill someone before we kill ourselves. We didn’t see no reason not to, we were about to die, what did we care for?”

They picked Sam Poss, a gifted 18-year-old who graduated from Perry High School, 30 miles outside of Macon, Georgia in 2016. Poss was described as “a good kid” and “a nice guy” by one of his alleged killers. He was a member of his high school marching band, a regular at Atlanta’s Dragon Con and extremely talented with electronics.

Poss was reportedly a very kind person, which is why he readily agreed when White and Warren asked him to help them out with a computer glitch. They picked him up and took him straight to White’s home. He did not come back.

While still in the driveway of the house, White strangled Poss with a telephone wire, according to the Macon Telegraph. When the wire snapped, White wrapped his arm around Poss’ neck and began choking him. As soon as they began attacking him, Poss asked them what they were doing. By then, it was too late. White told his victim “I’m sorry”. Finally, Warren allegedly dealt the killing blow with a knife.

“There was blood everywhere,” White told police. The teenagers spent several hours cleaning the car before hiding the body in the local woods. Four days later, while search parties combed the woods looking for Poss, White confessed his crime.

On May 9, White was placed on trial in Houston County. His defense explained how the murder was the product of a depressed mind. She emphasized that White had confessed his crime willingly. The jury spent 20 minutes in deliberation. White was found guilty of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, concealing the death of another and tampering with evidence. Warren is set to go on trial next week. 

“His young life was so full of darkness that he thought suicide was the only option,” White’s attorney Angie Coggins told the jury. “What Dakota did was wrong, but in the end, he did right. … He confessed his sin.”

Poss is fondly remembered by his family and friends as a free spirit. His parents say that he was happy with the way he was and couldn’t care less about how other people saw him. He didn’t pay much mind to his appearance and often left home in mismatched socks. This quirk of his was picked up by the director of his high school marching band who instituted Sam Poss days when all the band members wear mismatched socks in honor of him. His father Chris Poss wants people to remember him without focussing too much on the tragedy that befell him.

“The tragedy is a big deal and it sucks and it hurts and it’s horrific,” Poss said. “But we had 18 beautiful years with a wonderful person, and that’s what I want people to remember: his goofiness, his sense of humor, his willingness to help. That’s the important part.”