The Georgia Supreme Court has affirmed the murder convictions in two unrelated Augusta homicides.
In separate opinions released Monday, the state’s highest court found Willie B. Coe and Vernon Ryans were fairly tried and convicted of murder charges in Richmond County Superior Court.
Coe, 30, was convicted in August 2009 of murder in the death of 65-year-old Johnny Davis, a bystander caught in a cross-fire when Coe and Dennis Mingledolph engaged in a shootout on Lucky Street on June 30, 2008. Mingledolph, 24, was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to 30 years in prison. His appeal is pending.
Ryans, now 27, was convicted of murder in the Jan. 5, 2006, slaying of 23-year-old Jeffrey Ellison, a running back for the Palmetto Dragons. Ellison was visiting a friend on Central Avenue when Ryans and several friends fired weapons at the house. Ryans was sentenced to the mandatory life in prison in March 2007.