John Russell Carver, who brutally beat and raped a church leader in February 2011, will serve two consecutive life sentences plus 115 years behind bars.
Carver pleaded guilty on June 29 and DeKalb Superior Court Judge Asha Jackson sentenced him on 10 of the 12 counts including rape, armed robbery, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, burglary and possession of a knife during commission of a felony.
Carver had been in and out of prison since 1987.
The 53-year-old woman was working alone at St. Timothy United Methodist Church on Memorial Drive on Feb. 26, 2011, when she answered a knock on the door. Carver pushed his way in and attacked her.
The church leader, whose name is being withheld, told the judge before the sentencing that she wanted her attacker removed from society.
“The only way to assure this is to continue his incarceration,” she said. “There are consequences for his action.”
She looked straight at the judge and spoke in a strong voice.
“My life was impacted unforgettably,” she said.
Her attacker was about 6 feet away on the other side of the courtroom. She never looked at him.
Carver looked down once and stared straight ahead.
A few sniffles could be heard from among the 15 to 20 church members in the courtroom to support her. The victim told the judge that she is continuing therapy.
“I pray that God’s healing and grace will be constant in the lives of all of us impacted by these events.”
DeKalb District Attorney Robert James said Carver put a knife to the woman’s throat and strangled her until she passed out, then raped her. She suffered permanent hearing loss in one ear and fractures to her face.
Carver was identified as the suspect after a positive DNA hit by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. He was in the Fulton County Jail on unrelated charges when he was arrested for the rape on March 7, 2011.
James called the attack an “extremely violent and vicious act.”
“Hopefully this guilty plea will bring resolve for both the victim of this crime and the community affected by this monstrous act,” he said.