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Justices overturn verdict in slaying of veteran

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The Georgia Supreme Court has ruled that a man convicted of murder in Richmond County should get a new trial because prosecutors did not disclose that their key witness had worked out a deal that could have reduced his sentence.

On Monday, the court reversed the conviction of Richard Anthony Gonnella for the 2002 shooting death of John Henry Williams.

Evidence showed Mr. Gonnella and Christopher Evans went to Mr. Williams' apartment. Mr. Evans said he heard a gunshot while in his car. The two later turned themselves in, and Mr. Evans told police where to find the gun.

Mr. Gonnella was convicted of felony murder and sentenced to life in prison. Mr. Evans was sentenced to 15 years after a guilty plea to voluntary manslaughter.

The court said prosecutors deprived Mr. Gonnella of the ability to impeach Mr. Evans' testimony.

Mr. Williams, a disabled Navy veteran, was shot in the left temple on Sept. 6, 2002, at his home in Ramblewood Apartments on Center West Parkway. Neighbors found him a few hours later on his doorstep, police said.

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get.the.beam.out 11/24/09 - 07:07 am
Good job attorney Tonya

Good job attorney Tonya Jeffords in persisting to get the right result from the Supreme Court, based on the law.

Paredhead 11/24/09 - 10:39 am
Richard Gonnella refused to

Richard Gonnella refused to take the stand in his own defense. Also, please fix my brother's name

mable8 11/24/09 - 12:02 pm
Let's hope the jury convicts

Let's hope the jury convicts this slime again and metes out the death penalty as opposed to life without parole. Neither of these two deserve a life after murdering a helpless vet.

whs1984 11/24/09 - 06:38 pm
This is the prime example

This is the prime example guilty by association. Parents need to be involved in there childrens lives and know who they are hanging around. Teach them right from wrong at an early age. Lets hope the truth comes out this time.

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