GA top court tosses murder conviction - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

GA top court tosses murder conviction

ATLANTA (AP) - The Georgia Supreme Court has reversed a conviction for murder and armed robbery in a Chatham County case, saying the judge made an improper statement.

In a 5 to 2 decision released Monday, the high court reversed the convictions of Hector Gibson, who was convicted of killing convenience store clerk Vipin Patel in 2005.

The court says that while the evidence was sufficient for conviction, the trial judge made a mistake when the jury asked for exhibits to be sent to the jury room.

The judge said providing the exhibits would be a reversible error. The Supreme Court says judges are not supposed to refer to appeals courts except when citing precedent because such references imply the defendant will be found guilty.

The court says the state can retry the case.

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