The Defendant was charged with Cruelty to Elder Person after his mother, who live with him and his brother was admitted to the hospital. After his case lingered for over a year, the we filed a Demand for Speedy Trial under the U.S. Constitution. When his case had not even been indicted for almost 2 years after his arrest, we moved to dismiss the case. Although the State weakly opposed the motion, it did nothing to fight against it and failed at every opportunity provided by the court to even file any motions or briefs arguing against a dismissal. However, the trial court refused to take action on the motion. After having to file both a Motion to Recuse the judge and a Petition for Writ of Mandamus to force the judge to act on the motion, the judge finally issued a ruling over a year later, denying the motion. We appealed the ruling and the Court of Appeals reversed the ruling stating that it did not comply with the law.
A Worth county defendant charged with Cruelty to Children was acquitted after a 2 day trial! The Defendant was charged with Cruelty to Children and Family Violence Battery after disciplining children. The two children, ages 8 and 5, began fighting with each other as they boarded the school bus. The driver kicked them off the bus and told the Defendant to drive them to school. To punish them for fighting on the bus (something the defendant had already warned them about previously), the defendant spanked them with a belt. The older child would not hold still and ended up with scratches on his neck, although the child could not say where the scratches came from. The school claimed that both children had welts on their backs, although no welts could be seen in the photographs. A police investigator examined the children around 5:00 that evening but saw no welts or other marks, except the scratches on the older boys neck. Both children testified that they did not remember what happened that day and that they love their father. DFACS had investigated and allowed the Defendant back into the home with the children as they saw no further safety issues. After a two day trial, it took the jury only seven minutes to render a Not Guilty verdict!
A Tift county defendant charged with Felony Murder was acquitted after a 3 day trial! The Defendant was arrested after he was involved in a fight which ended in the shooting death of the other person. He was charged with Felony Murder and Aggravated Assault. He was facing Life plus 20 years. We argued at trial that he was merely defending himself when he pulled the gun as the alleged victim was attacking him, including with a large bottle and a bicycle. During the last attack, the gun accidentally fired during the scuffle, killing the attacker. The jury agreed and found him Not Guilty of those charges. However, at the last minute, the State asked for the lessor included charges of Voluntary Manslaughter, Involuntary Manslaughter, and Misdemeanor Reckless Conduct. The jury rejected the Manslaughter charge but did find him guilty of Reckless Conduct. The Court sentenced him to 12 months probation. We consider that a win!
The Defendant was charged with Arson. The state believed he burned his own house down in an attempt to profit from insurance proceeds. Believing we could not obtain a fair trial in his home county, we moved for a change of venue which was granted. The trial was held in Ben Hill County. After a two day trial, the jury came back with a Not Guilty verdict!
The Defendant was charged with Armed Robbery. After a lengthy trial, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict and the court declared a mistrial. Not wanting to conduct a second trial with a chance of losing their case, the state dismissed the case.
The Defendant was charged along with two other individuals with smuggling marijuana into the prison. The state sought to make an example of them and would not offer anything less than the maximum sentence of 7 years. Just before trial, the state re-indicted all three defendants with additional charges which would increase their exposure to 25 years. Fortunately, we had filed a Demand for Speedy Trial on behalf of our client and it was about to expire. The court gave the state 3 options: split the case up and go to trial on the old indictment as to our client and continue the case as to the other two in order to try them on the new indictment; continue the whole case in order to try the case on the new indictment, which would cause a dismissal as to our client; or go to trial on the old indictment as to all three defendants. The state chose the latter and we proceeded to trial, with all three defendants only facing 7 years each instead of the 25. Half way through the first day of trial, the state improperly allowed the jury to know that our client was on probation. We moved for and received a mistrial as to our client only. The trial proceeded as to the other two defendants who were both convicted and sentenced to 7 years to serve.
The defendant was arrested after the police searched Defendant’s home and found drugs in the living room. At trial, we showed that the defendant was not the only one that lived there and the State had failed to prove it was Defendant’s drugs, and not one of the other occupants’. The Jury found the defendant Not Guilty.