Saturday, May 18 2013 12:48 PM EDT2013-05-18 16:48:01 GMT
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Saturday, May 18 2013 8:00 AM EDT2013-05-18 12:00:09 GMT
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Friday, May 17 2013 11:58 PM EDT2013-05-18 03:58:09 GMT
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Friday, May 17 2013 11:44 PM EDT2013-05-18 03:44:12 GMT
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Friday, May 17 2013 11:43 PM EDT2013-05-18 03:43:28 GMT
The Rat Pack came back to Albany Friday night. Sinatra and Friends performed at Doublegate Country Club to raise money for the Albany Symphony Association. The guys who play the roles of Frank Sinatra,More >>
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The Georgia Supreme Court Monday upheld the conviction of an Albany man serving a life sentence for a 2005 murder.
25-year-old Nathaniel Taylor was convicted in 2007 for shooting 31-year old Lewis West on South Jackson Street.
His cell mate at the Dougherty County Jail testified he overheard Taylor telling another inmate he shot West because West robbed him of drugs.
Taylor's attorney argued the evidence was insufficient and circumstantial.
The state argued, prior to his death, the victim identified Taylor as his shooter.
Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards said "he made a statement about the fact that there had been a drug deal that went bad and the was going to get Louis Anthony West, that he was going to burn him and he made statements and was pretty much telling everybody what he did and why he did it."
The decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the conviction was unanimous.
Read the Court Ruling Below
In the Supreme Court of Georgia
Decided: October 17, 2011
S11A0839. TAYLOR v. THE STATE.
HUNSTEIN, Chief Justice.
Appellant Nathaniel Taylor appeals his conviction of malice murder,
felony murder, and aggravated assault for the shooting death of Lewis Anthony
West on October 21, 2005.
The trial court denied appellant's motion for a new trial and he appeals, challenging only the effectiveness of his trial counsel.
1. Viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict, the evidence
presented at trial showed that approximately one to two weeks before West's
death, West and appellant (also known as "Reddy B") got into an argument
because appellant believed West had stolen some marijuana from him.
(The crimes occurred on October 21, 2005.
Appellant Nathaniel Taylor was indicted in Dougherty County on charges of malice murder,
felony murder, and aggravated assault. He was found guilty on all three charges and
sentenced to life in prison for the malice murder charge. The remaining
charges were merged or vacated by operation of law. His motion for new
trial, filed February 2, 2009 and amended February 15, 2010, was denied
January 12, 2011. A notice of appeal was filed January 14, 2011. The appeal
was docketed for the April term in this Court and was orally argued on May
Several of appellant's friends advised appellant to let it go rather than retaliate.
Appellant ignored his friends' advice and told one friend he planned to "burn"
On the afternoon of October 21, 2005, two men accosted West in an open
field between Jackson Street and Dervan Street in Albany. One of the men fired
two to three shots, hitting West in the lower abdomen. The assailants fled. Two
witnesses heard the shots and saw the fleeing men, though neither was able to
positively identify appellant. West collapsed in the yard of Alice Robinson,
who was sitting on her porch. At West's request, Robinson called 9-1-1 and
talked with West for several minutes before police arrived. Robinson asked
2Both of the witnesses that provided accounts of the alleged drug theft
and subsequent argument recanted their testimony at trial. First, Purchetta
Weston, a friend of appellant, originally told police that appellant said he was
going to "burn" West. Weston testified at trial that she did not remember
making that statement, so counsel for the State played an audio tape of her
prior inconsistent statement to the jury. Courtney Bailey, another friend of
appellant, disclaimed his pre-trial statement that West had robbed appellant
and appellant "couldn't let it go," claiming that he was intoxicated at the time
of the interview, that he had been pressured by police, and that he and
appellant were just joking about a drug theft. Despite their contradictory
statements during the trial, the jury was entitled to rely upon both witnesses'
prior inconsistent statements as substantive evidence. Holiday v. State, 272