Superior Court Judge James G. Blanchard Jr. denied a request for a new trial Thursday by an Augusta man convicted in a fatal 2008 home invasion.
Karmbi Octavious Young, 23, was the first to be tried among five Augusta men charged in the Sept. 24, 2008, shooting death of Rickey Gibson, 33, of Grovetown.
In August 2009, a jury convicted him of murder, armed robbery, burglary, kidnapping, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of marijuana. Blanchard sentenced Young to life plus 70 years.
Young and four others – Patrick Antwon Booker, Martin Napoleon Holmes, Willie Bernard Butler, and Garland Ray Pittman – were accused of killing Gibson.
Authorities say the men broke into the home Gibson shared with his girlfriend and their infant son. Gibson’s girlfriend said masked men held them at gunpoint, put a gun in the baby’s mouth, threatened them and shot at her before killing Gibson. She escaped with the baby.
Police arrested Young shortly afterward in a car with Booker near Pumpkin Center.
“I’m doing life in prison for a crime I didn’t commit,” Young told the judge. “I never held that man’s life in my hands.”
Young admitted being on the street at Gibson’s home but denied going inside. No scientific evidence was presented at the trial to prove he was in the yard or home.
Young’s attorney, Edgar Calloway, questioned the way Gibson’s girlfriend identified his client and two others as her attackers. They were identified through a window at the Grovetown Department of Public Safety in a “show-up,” in which authorities bring
in those they suspect committed the crime.
Calloway said the process was a “dangerous, difficult and suggestive proposition.” He said her identification of Young and testimony concerning the show-up should have not been allowed into the trial.
Young can appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court.