Decatur County Murder Convictions Upheld By Supreme Court



The convictions of Jonathan Johnson and Joshua Lee were affirmed at the Georgia Supreme Court January 29th, 2018.

The crimes occurred on August 16 and 17, 2014. On November 10, 2014, a Decatur County grand jury indicted Johnson, Lee, and Marquis Scott for malice murder, criminal attempt to commit kidnapping, and aggravated assault. Johnson was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, and Lee was also charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and family violence battery. As part of a negotiated plea, Scott pled guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced to 10 years in prison and he testified for the State at Johnson and Lee’s trial. The trial was held from November 2 to November 6, 2015. Johnson and Lee were found guilty of malice murder and aggravated assault.  Johnson and Lee were each sentenced to life in prison for malice murder.  They filed Motions for New Trial which the trial court denied on December 30, 2016. Johnson and Lee filed timely notices of appeal, and their cases were docketed in this Court for the August Supreme Court 2017 term.

The defendants argued there was insufficient evidence to find them guilty, that the State improperly struck jurors based on race, and the Trial Court ruled improperly.  All arguments were held to be unsubstantiated and the case was affirmed.

Joe Mulholland, District Attorney for the South Georgia Circuit, had the following to say:

“These were obviously some serious allegations by appellate counsel. I was glad to see that the Supreme Court, unanimously, found then to be false and without basis.  I would also like to let the family of the victim know that although it was a long struggle, our office can finally give them some closure in this case.”





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