The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

July 14, 2014

Defense attorney asks court to reinstate bond in murder case


An attorney for Keith Daniel George — a Limestone County man who will be tried again for the 2009 fatal shooting of his nephew, Rusty George Jr. — has asked to bring his client back to Limestone County and to let him go free on bail pending his new trial.

A Limestone County jury convicted Keith George of murder following the September 2012 trial, and a judge ordered him to serve 50 years in state prison for the crime. George’s attorney appealed the case to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, arguing the jury was improperly instructed. The state appellate court overturned the conviction August 2013, stating the judge in the case gave outdated instructions to the jury regarding self-defense.

“The Circuit Court's jury instructions regarding the duty to retreat was an incorrect statement of the law and should not have been given,” the appellate court ruled. It said the court should have instructed the jury in accordance with the state's stand-your-ground law which was amended inb 2006. The justices ruled that the Circuit Court's "improper self-defense jury instruction was not harmless because the jury could have rejected (George's) defense of self-defense based on the state's evidence indicating that he could have retreated."

Limestone County District Attorney Brian Jones then asked the Alabama Supreme Court to strike down the appellate court’s reversal. On Friday, the state Supreme Court denied Jones’ request. Also Friday, George’s attorney, Michael Sizemore of Athens, asked the Limestone County Circuit Court to allow the state to transport George from state prison to Limestone County Jail and to reinstate George’s original bail so he might be free while awaiting his new trial. No date has been set to hear that request.

Stand-your-ground or no

Jones said Monday he was disappointed with the Supreme Court ruling but said he would proceed with retrying George as he vowed to do last year.

“We’re hoping that the Supreme Court would use this case to flesh out the stand-your-ground law,” Jones said.

During the original trial, George had claimed he acted in self-defense under the state’s 2006 stand-your-ground law when he shot his nephew at a party in Elkmont. Jones claimed George pursued the unarmed Rusty across the street into an empty lot and continued to shoot him until the gun jammed.

Text Only
Local News


Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

None of the above
     View Results
AP Video
Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee