Man sentenced in Coffee Co. murder pleads guilty in third trial - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Man sentenced in Coffee Co. murder pleads guilty in third trial

Corey Smith (Source: Georgia Department of Corrections) Corey Smith (Source: Georgia Department of Corrections)
COFFEE CO., GA (WALB) -

A man, already serving a life sentence in prison, pleaded guilty to a 1996 murder on Wednesday.

According to Assistant District Attorney Ian Sansot, Corey Smith was convicted in 1997 for the death of Bill Ray Browning. But he was granted a new trial after the court reporter’s house burned down, taking all transcripts and recordings of the trial with it.

Because of a lack of transcripts, Smith was granted a new trial in December of 2013, which he didn't have until October of 2015.

However, halfway through the trial, it was discovered that Smith’s then-attorney had been suspended from the practice of law for failure to pay bar dues and complete required Continuing Legal Education hours.

The judge was then forced to declare a mistrial.

Smith obtained new counsel and the case has been pending ever since.

“Sometimes circumstances require reopening long-closed cases,” said District Attorney George Barnhill. “The problem is when witnesses are no longer available. But here, the essential witnesses were still willing and able to testify and we were able to, hopefully, bring some finality to Mr. Browning’s family.  No matter the age of the case, our office endeavors to do justice on behalf of victims.”

According to Sansot, on June 26, 1996, Smith and three others were driving on US-441 north of Douglas early in the morning.

The four men then flagged down Browning, who they mistakenly believed had previously hit their vehicle.

Browning was driving a gray Dodge truck that looked similar to the vehicle the four were looking for.

After both vehicles were stopped, Smith began shooting at Browning who began to speed up in an attempt to get away but was killed within moments.

Smith admitted to a GBI agent that he fired a 9mm handgun at Browning.

The gun was found and it was determined that it matched the bullet that shot Browning in the head.

Copyright 2017 WALB. All rights reserved.

Keep up with WALB on the go! 
Follow us on social  
   and download our apps!

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Cleanup efforts on hold after second Downtown sewage spill

    Cleanup efforts on hold after second Downtown sewage spill

    Monday, June 18 2018 10:42 PM EDT2018-06-19 02:42:49 GMT
    The cleanup efforts after a second sewage spill for the Flint River in Downtown Albany are uncertain at this time. (Source: WALB)The cleanup efforts after a second sewage spill for the Flint River in Downtown Albany are uncertain at this time. (Source: WALB)
    The cleanup efforts after a second sewage spill for the Flint River in Downtown Albany are uncertain at this time. (Source: WALB)The cleanup efforts after a second sewage spill for the Flint River in Downtown Albany are uncertain at this time. (Source: WALB)

    The cleanup efforts after a second sewage spill for the Flint River in Downtown Albany are uncertain at this time.  Jacobs, the company responsible for the pumps said in a statement they hope to bring in a third party source to help access the damage.  

    More >>

    The cleanup efforts after a second sewage spill for the Flint River in Downtown Albany are uncertain at this time.  Jacobs, the company responsible for the pumps said in a statement they hope to bring in a third party source to help access the damage.  

    More >>
  • Moultrie police gave hundreds of citations

    Moultrie police gave hundreds of citations

    Monday, June 18 2018 9:52 PM EDT2018-06-19 01:52:02 GMT
    Moultrie Police Department (SOURCE: WALB)Moultrie Police Department (SOURCE: WALB)
    Moultrie Police Department (SOURCE: WALB)Moultrie Police Department (SOURCE: WALB)

    You may remember the 'No Need to Speed' campaign that started last week in Moultrie, where the police department was going to crack down on speeders driving through Veterans Parkway well, they did just that. 

    More >>

    You may remember the 'No Need to Speed' campaign that started last week in Moultrie, where the police department was going to crack down on speeders driving through Veterans Parkway well, they did just that. 

    More >>
  • Steak N Shake in Albany is back in business

    Steak N Shake in Albany is back in business

    Monday, June 18 2018 9:49 PM EDT2018-06-19 01:49:41 GMT
    Steak N Shake reopens in Albany. (Source: WALB)Steak N Shake reopens in Albany. (Source: WALB)
    Steak N Shake reopens in Albany. (Source: WALB)Steak N Shake reopens in Albany. (Source: WALB)

    Steak N Shake in Albany is back open for business.  Monday was their grand re-opening after a fire in December caused damage to the building. 

    More >>

    Steak N Shake in Albany is back open for business.  Monday was their grand re-opening after a fire in December caused damage to the building. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly