Ga. Supreme Court upholds Augusta murder life sentence

Judy Washington/ WRDW-TV
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Monday, May 19, 2014

RICHMOND COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) -- The Georgia Supreme Court has upheld an Augusta woman's life sentence for the shooting death of a disabled man in 2011.

Judy Lynn Washington's attorneys argued that she had shot Steve Mikel in self-defense, which a jury rejected. The high court found, "the evidence was ample to enable the jury to find Washington guilty of all crimes for which she had been charged."

Witnesses reported that Mikel approached Washington outside on the porch of home on Ramsey St. on July 31, 2011 and apologized about an earlier altercation. Mikel then picked up Washington's purse, which led to Washington shooting Mikel and causing him to fall out of his wheelchair. Prosecutors said that Washington then fired four more times while he was on the ground, before fixing her ponytail and walking away from the scene.

Justice Harold Melton wrote in the opinion that, "the jury was authorized to reject the claim of self-defense and conclude that Washington shot Mikel repeatedly without provocation.”

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