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Court upholds Augusta murder conviction

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Georgia Supreme Court justices upheld the conviction and two consecutive life sentences given to a man who killed two men by setting a house on fire.

The justices’ decision, released this morning, denies the appeal of Theodore Sharpe, who was convicted in 2008 of killing the men who offered him a place to stay on Cleveland Street. Witnesses testified at trial that Sharpe was seen entering the house with something in his hands and then leaving the house just before the fire started. Freeman Lawrence, 59, and Herman Cadle, 51, both died from injuries sustained in the blaze.

Sharpe, a former insurance adjuster, had no other criminal convictions before he was sent to prison.

His co-defendant, Celisa Hamilton, pleaded guilty in 2009 to arson in the first degree and received five years in prison followed by 15 years probation.

 
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