ATLANTA - The Georgia Supreme Court has reversed a 1998 murder conviction on grounds that the trial judge in Richmond County gave an improper instruction to jurors.
The defendant, Steven Anthony Donald, was convicted in the shooting death of John Mullinax, who had come to Donald's mobile home to talk about an unpaid debt.
Testimony shows that Donald shot Mullinax four times and claimed at his trial that he was afraid of Mullinax and was trying to protect himself. The jury found Donald guilty.
In its unanimous ruling Monday, the Supreme Court found the trial judge improperly charged the jury not to believe testimony that was incredible or impossible. The court said that charge is intended only for unusual cases.