An Augusta man who was a juvenile when sentenced to prison without the chance of parole for a double homicide in 2000 must be resentenced, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday.
Marcus Rolondo Moore, who was age 17 when he shot and killed Neiteka Nicole Wesbey and Corey McMillan on Nov. 24, 2000, will be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole for the two murder convictions. Additional prison time can be imposed for two counts of aggravated assault and weapon violations.
Moore also wounded a third person in the crime and shot at but missed a fourth victim.
Moore was convicted of the murders during his death penalty trial in 2001. He agreed to a sentence of life in prison without parole before the trial went into the sentencing phase.
Monday’s ruling upset Edgar McMillan whose son, Corey, was murdered.
“I want him to stay in prison for the rest of his life,” he said. “I was pleased with the (2001) sentence but now he might get out at 65.”
McMillan said he would contact the parole board to voice his opposition to any future release.
“I wish he would just go away,” he said. “It will be 13 years next month and I’m still dealing with this.”
Monday’s ruling was based on a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision that found subjecting a juvenile to a possible death sentence was unconstitutional. Although Moore wasn’t sentenced to death, when he stood trial the law in Georgia only allowed for a sentence of life without parole in those cases where a prosecutor sought a death sentence.
Since that notice was a prerequisite for a sentence of life without parole, Moore’s sentence had to be vacated, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday.
As part of Moore’s agreeing to life without parole, he waived his rights to appeal his conviction or sentence.
But the Georgia Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that a person cannot abandon the right to challenge an illegal sentence. The court found this ruling extends to Moore, too.
In 2009 the law was changed in Georgia so that a sentence of life without parole may be sought without the necessity of seeking a death sentence.