Albany woman convicted of murder gets new trial

Published: Sep. 12, 2016 at 12:21 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 12, 2016 at 10:42 PM EDT
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Johnnie Graham (Source: WALB)
Johnnie Graham (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A woman convicted of murdering her ex-husband is entitled to a new trial under a ruling today by the Georgia Supreme Court.

For years, Marlina Hamilton allegedly suffered beatings and even rape at the hands of her boyfriend and eventual husband, Christopher Donaldson, before she shot and killed him. She contended that it was in self-defense, as he was beating her.

In 2011, a Dougherty County jury found her guilty of felony murder, and she was sentenced to life in prison.

But in 2015, a judge granted Hamilton's motion for a new trial, concluding that the jury's guilty verdicts were "decidedly and strongly against the weight of the evidence" and "contrary to the principles of justice and equity."

"The Court I think viewed the overall facts in the case. The law in the case, and said the Judge did not do anything wrong. She is entitled to a new trial," explained Hamilton's trial attorney Johnnie Graham.

The Dougherty County District Attorney appealed that ruling to the Georgia Supreme Court, but the court unanimously ruled against Greg Edwards, and in favor of Hamilton.

Hamilton was represented by Troy Golden, Chief Asst. Public Defender.

No trial date was announced.

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