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Ga. top court upholds Emanuel County murder convictions for pair

From left: Yaheed Brooks and Million Bedford
From left: Yaheed Brooks and Million Bedford(WRDW)
Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 9:56 AM EDT
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ATLANTA (WRDW/WAGT) - The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday upheld the murder convictions and life prison sentences for two co-defendants in an Emanuel County case.

Million Bedford and Yaheed Brooks were tried together and convicted of malice murder and other crimes in connection with the April 8, 2017, shooting death of Johnny Jackson.

Bedford and Brooks were tried together on April 10 and 11, 2018, and found guilty on all counts.

Each was sentenced to serve life in prison without the possibility of parole for malice murder, another concurrent life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole for armed robbery, 20 years in prison to be served consecutively for burglary, and a total of 15 years in prison for the three remaining counts of possession of a firearm, also to be served consecutively.

The felony murder convictions and the two possession of firearm convictions based on the felony murder counts were vacated by operation of law.

After they were sentenced, Bedford and Brooks each filed a motion for new trial. Those motions were denied, and they appealed.

Each contended there was insufficient evidence to sustain their convictions and that the trial court erred in denying a mistrial due to the state’s improper comment about courtroom spectators during its closing argument.

Separately, Bedford claims the trial court erred by denying his motion for directed verdict of acquittal and by admitting his pretrial statements.

Brooks argues that a detective witness improperly bolstered other witnesses’ testimony and that the trial court abused its discretion by failing to allow him to supplement his motion for new trial with new claims and by not setting an evidentiary hearing on the supplemental motion.

The Supreme Court affirmed the convictions in both cases.

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