ATLANTA, GA (WALB) - State prosecutors are appealing a Decatur County judge's ruling that when a man goes on trial for murder, his videotaped statement in which he allegedly confessed, will not be heard by the jury.
The judge ruled that the State did not prove he made his statement voluntarily, as required by law.
In 2014, a Decatur County grand jury indicted Robert Lenoris Smith with felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony for causing the death of Octavius Powell, who was shot with a 9 mm pistol in Bainbridge.
Police say Powell was standing in the parking lot of Gibbs-Miles Homes as partiers left the nearby American Legion Hall. They believe Robert Smith fired five shots from a nearby street into the crowd. Powell was hit in the stomach.
"It stemmed from an altercation that happened earlier in the day at the boat basin," said Adrienne Harrison with Bainbridge Public Safety.
Smith was arrested and charged with felony murder, but Powell's father says more than one life was lost because of the nonsense. His son Octavius, and the man accused of pulling the trigger. "They didn't deserve to have their lives taken from them either, so my best advice is get your lives together," said Eles Worlds.
He says a stray bullet rarely has a name on it, and the solution isn't getting even, but putting away the guns and letting the violence go.
Smith's lawyer, Chevene King, Jr., argues that the statement was improper, and should not be used at Smith's trial.
District Attorney Joseph Mulholland argues that the statement made by Smith was given 'freely and voluntarily, without threats or violence, or by any promises, hence the trial court erred in granting the motion.'