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Augusta man serving life sentence denied new trial

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A man serving a life sentence for a burglary that ended in gunfire was denied a new trial Friday.

Jordash Tanksley was convicted of burglary, armed robbery, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime after a trial that detailed his role in the break-in at the F.A.M.E. clothing store on Wrightsboro Road on July 30, 2007.

Tanksley; his father, Clarence Tanksley; and a third defendant, Derrell McNair, broke into the store about 4 a.m., in spite of warnings on the door that the staff were on the premises 24 hours after a rash of burglaries at the store. The proprietor, Raheim M. Badger, emerged from the back storage room when he heard glass breaking and was shot at. Badger returned fire and shot McNair in the leg.

In court Friday, Tanksley’s attorney, Rodney Zell, attacked several aspects of the September 2008 trial, beginning with the testimony of McNair.

McNair’s testimony differed from previous statements that placed Jordash Tanksley inside the store. Zell said that an admonition from Judge Duncan Wheale that he testify truthfully or face a perjury charge had a “chilling effect” on McNair’s testimony.

Zell also questioned the jury instructions and their representation of Georgia law.

After listening to the arguments, Superior Court Sheryl Jolly rejected the motion and ruled that the jury instructions were sufficient.


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