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Georgia man appeals against his conviction for killing a Kenyan man in 2008

Posted by Administrator on February 7, 2012

MARIETTA — The Georgia Supreme Court will hear two Cobb County murder cases today.

In the first, Kevin Martin is appealing his conviction in the 2008 New Year’s Eve death of Peter Mwangi. Martin was convicted of stabbing Mwangi to death in a fight stemming from a disagreement over an open door. In the trial, jurors were allowed to see portions of a videotaped interrogation in which he invoked his right to an attorney and said “Oh, God, have mercy upon my soul” upon learning of Mwangi’s death.

Martin was convicted of felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime and sentenced to life plus five years in prison.

Martin will argue that his attorney, Jimmy Berry, provided ineffective defense in not preventing the interrogation video to be shown, thus hurting his defense.

In another case, Jesus Guerrero Manzano will be appealing his murder conviction in his wife’s death for a second time.

Police discovered Claudia Rodriguez, 25, dead of a gunshot wound to her head on Nov. 5, 2003, in the couple’s home. Manzano said he was cleaning his gun when he put it against her head and pulled the trigger, thinking it was unloaded. Prosecutors argued that he shot her while she was sleeping, basing their argument on contact wounds found during her autopsy.

In February 2005, a jury convicted him of felony murder, but acquitted him on a charge of malice murder. That conviction was overturned in 2007 because the judge did not tell the jury they could consider convicting him of involuntary manslaughter. In a second trial in 2009, a jury found Manzano guilty of felony murder with aggravated assault as the underlying felony. Manzano was sentenced to life in prison.

For a felony murder conviction, the victim must be killed as a result of a felony. Manzano’s attorney will be arguing that the evidence in the second trial does not support an aggravated assault conviction, eliminating the underlying felony and thus the felony murder charge.

Source: The Marietta Daily Journal – Supreme Court will hear Cobb murder cases

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5 Responses to “Georgia man appeals against his conviction for killing a Kenyan man in 2008”

  1. Is that fair justice for a man to be jailed for five years for killing somebody? Although no matter how many years this guy will be behind bars won,t bring Mwangi to life five years is nothing to life.

  2. peris said

    Njuguna the law has always been and will always be an ass.cant imagine that the stabbing was a result of a disagreement on an open door.Anger is never a reason,but seldom a good one.

  3. leo said

    I think life in prison means 200yrs but the juros and judges got emotional and added 5 yrs more reaching a total of 205yrs. That’s my guess. They should have given him 2 life sentences which would have totaled 400yrs. I have heard this before{ two life sentences} Any criminal justice student out there?

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