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Tevis Law Firm Client to Get New Trial After 2014 Murder Conviction

Attorney Brian Tevis of Tevis Law Firm, LLC is known throughout Atlanta and the surrounding region as a criminal defense attorney capable of turning wheels and protecting the rights of his clients in the most complicated, high-stakes, and difficult of cases. He has recently upheld his reputation while working with defendant John Johnson by securing a murder conviction reversal and a motion for a new trial.

Details of the Original Murder Case & Trial

Mr. Johnson was first indicted back in 2006 by a grand jury for several felony charges, including malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm while committing a felony, and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. Johnson was not represented by Tevis Law Firm, LLC during his trial. He was subsequently convicted of the charges in 2014 and sentenced to life in prison for the felony murder charge alone, as well as other harsh sentences for the remaining charges.

Upon a close examination of the case, several issues with the trial became clear. The most egregious error was the fact that the State’s main witness in the trial admitted his own heavy intoxication and drug-based impairment during the night of the murder and also mentioned several times in testimony that his memory of the night was not clear. This same witness also told another testifying witness that he, himself, had shot the victim.

While crossed stories and thin evidence are highly questionable, they were not the only reasons why a retrial was necessary. The technical and legal issues of the case stem from inaction on behalf of the state, the defense, and even the judge. Neither the trial defense counsel nor the state prosecutor requested a jury charge on the requirement that an apparent accomplice’s testimony be corroborated by additional evidence or witnesses. Since such a jury charge was legally-required in this case, the judge would have been expected to intervene and give this charge on her own, but this also did not happen.

Amended Motion Gains Judge’s Approval

With the aforementioned issues and several others weighing upon the outcome of the trial, Attorney Brian Tevis began constructing an argument to protect Mr. Johnson’s rights. Within the amended motion, both the insufficient evidence and the lack of proper jury instruction were cited. Ultimately, the reviewing judge agreed that the problems were significant enough to jeopardize the ability of the trial to reach a fair and just conclusion. The conviction was reversed and a new trial date should be set soon.

For more information about this ongoing case handled by Atlanta criminal defense Attorney Brian Tevis, visit the law firm’s blog frequently for critical updates. You can also contact the firm to request a free consultation with Attorney Tevis.