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Augusta murder convictions upheld

Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 2:41 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 1:45 AM
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Two Richmond County murder convictions have been upheld by the Georgia Supreme Court.

Paul Franklin Blevins was tried and convicted in February 2009 for the 2007 death of 62-year-old Danny Jones, who was found
by firefighters responding to a fire in Jones’ home.

A blood-stained plank of wood was found near his body, and the coroner determined Jones died from blunt force trauma.

Blevins was pulled over later that day by a patrol deputy and arrested on suspicion of DUI.

He was carrying several of Jones’ possessions, and his shirt was soiled with Jones’ blood.

The high court justices determined on appeal that “the evidence was sufficient to exclude every reasonable hypothesis other than Blevins’ guilt” and convict him of malice murder, armed robbery and first-degree
arson.

Also on Monday, justices affirmed the conviction of Haskell Johnson but vacated one of his two life sentences. Johnson was indicted with two others in the 2000 robbery and killing of Ritchard Lewis. Evidence showed the gunplay was the result of a drug deal.

Johnson was the first to go to trial and was convicted of all charges. Derek Willingham was also convicted, but his conviction was reversed by the Georgia Supreme Court. Frank­lin Frails was acquitted.

Justices vacated John­son’s life sentence for felony murder because of a trial error, but they maintained another life sentence for malice murder.


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