Convictions upheld for pair in slaying at Augusta State Medical Prison

Stock photo of scales of justice. Alternate to gavel.
Stock photo of scales of justice. Alternate to gavel.(Arizona's Family)
Published: May. 16, 2023 at 1:04 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The Georgia Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the murder convictions and sentences of two inmates convicted of a fatal stabbing at Augusta State Medical Prison more than a decade ago.

Frederick Dewberry and Michael Lorenzo Ward were charged along with several other inmates in the Aug. 28, 2011, stabbing death of Antonio Wiley.

Wiley, himself a convicted murderer out of Fulton County, was stabbed with homemade shanks in the prison yard. Another inmate was stabbed, as well.

Ward and Dewberry were convicted of malice murder and felony murder in connection with the stabbing death of Wiley and aggravated assault in the stabbing of Wydreicus Denison.

Ward and Dewberry were tried by a jury from Sept. 14-17, 2015. The jury found Ward and Dewberry guilty of all counts, and they were each sentenced to serve life in prison without the possibility for the murder and 20 years to be served consecutively for the aggravated assault.

Ward and Dewberry sought new trials in 2022 and were both denied.

Dewberry said the trial court erred by:

  • Denying his motion for directed verdict of acquittal on the murder and aggravated assault charges.
  • Allowing a “heavy police presence” in the courtroom in violation of his right to a fair trial.
  • Leaving a defense witness in visible restraints.
  • Not declaring a mistrial after the prosecutor conferred with a witness, in violation of the rule of sequestration.
Frederick Dewberry
Frederick Dewberry(Contributed)

Ward made similar claims as well as saying prosecutors failed to establish that he possessed a sharp weapon, that he caused any stab wounds, that he caused any of Wiley’s fatal stab wounds or that he was part of a plan or conspiracy to stab Wiley.

Dewberry remains incarcerated at Ware State Prison, but Ward died oi natural causes in October, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.