The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

News

July 14, 2014

Defense attorney asks court to reinstate bond in murder case

ATHENS —

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 The state appellate court overturned the conviction August 2013, stating the judge in the case gave outdated instructions to the jury regarding self-defense.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.

1
Text Only
News
Photos


Poll

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

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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

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