Clarence Gardenhire
WSBTV Screenshot 

Two young men responsible for the 2013 death of a Florida man who was interested in what turned out to be a fake Craigslist ad for an iPhone sale were sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday without the possibility of parole, WXIA-TV reports.

Malik Rice, 19, was sentenced to life without parole plus 55 years, according to the news station, while Contevious Stepp-McCommons, 20, got life without parole plus 35 years.

The two were found guilty of gunning down Clarence Gardenhire, 56, after luring him into an abandoned house in Atlanta under the pretense of having an iPhone for sale. The pair used a fake Craigslist ad to draw out their victim, who was visiting Atlanta for the birth of his ninth grandchild, the news station notes.

"This was a calculated plot to lure innocent victims to a designated unsafe area with a goal to rob them upon arrival," DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James said, according to WXIA-TV. "However, in the course of their interaction, Stepp-McCommons fatally shot Mr. Gardenhire and fled the scene."


Both Rice and Stepp-McCommons were found guilty of felony murder, firearm possession, aggravated assault and criminal attempt to commit a felony, WXIA-TV reports.

As the news site notes, this is not the first time someone has fallen victim while expressing interest in a Craigslist ad. Just last week James Jones Jr., a Clark Atlanta University student, was shot dead by suspects who also attempted to rob him by luring him with an iPhone ad.


"I want to strongly caution those utilizing Craigslist and any online site [involving communicating] with total strangers to be mindful of the potential dangers when dealing with various online platforms," James said in a statement.

Read more at WXIA-TV.