ATLANTA - In an appeal brought before the Georgia Supreme Court last fall, the justices have unanimously upheld murder convictions and life sentences against two men involved in a drug deal that went wrong in Barrow County in 2006.
Both Maurice Antonio Flournoy and Michael Williams will remain in jail for the kidnapping and murder of 21-year-old Aaron Gaddis in May 2006.
The pair, who worked together at Valentine Enterprises in Lawrenceville, had arranged with another co-worker to purchase marijuana from Gaddis, but also decided to rob him, according to court documents. Gaddis was shot during an altercation with the pair. (See story link below for details of the incident.)
The justices Monday morning rejected all of the arguments for appeal presented by defense attorneys. Justice Robert Benham wrote for the Court that the evidence at trial "was sufficient to authorize a rational trier of fact to find both appellants guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the crimes for which they were convicted."
In their appeals, attorneys for the two men presented a number arguments, but in Monday's opinion, the high court has rejected them all.
Attorneys for Flournoy argued, among other things, that the trial judge erred in instructing the jury on the charges against him because the evidence supported the conclusion that it was Williams, not Flournoy, who had shot and killed Gaddis. Williams attorney argued that Williams should have been tried separately from Flournoy.