Murder / Homicide / Aggravated Assault

Summaries of charges, defenses, and outcomes for clients prosecuted in counties throughout Georgia and the Southeast.

Cases of this practice area

State v. John Doe (2019)

Charges: Murder/Homicide/Aggravated Assault

States case:

Mr. Doe was indicted for vehicular homicide in the second degree. He was riding a motorcycle in his neighborhood with his father on the back seat. He lost control of the motorcycle and hit a parked car. His father was killed in the accident and Mr. Doe was charged with driving too fast for conditions and driving on the wrong side of the road, thus causing the death of his father.

Judgement:

Counsel was retained and immediately went to the neighborhood where the accident occurred in order to interview witnesses. Only one witness saw the actual accident and that witness could not determine who was actually driving the motorcycle. The accident reconstruction report by the police revealed that the police did not conduct their investigation until two months after the accident, thus losing any evidence that would have shown speed or other factors possibly causing the accident. However, it was evident that the police calculation of speed was based on calculations using cars, not motorcycles and was thus invalid. Counsel hired an accident reconstruction expert who was able to determine multiple alternative explanations for the accident, and found critical flaws in the state’s case. Counsel shared his investigation results with the prosecutor, including the fact that the victim/father had cocaine in his system. The prosecutor dismissed the case prior to trial.

State v. John Doe (2018)

Charges: Murder, Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, Poss. Firearm During Commission of a Felony, Carrying Concealed Weapon, Carrying a Weapon Without a Permit

States case:

Defendant won a $2 bet during a pool game but victim refused to pay. The defendant felt disrespected and plotted to get his money back or kill the victim for disrespecting him. When the victim didn't pay up, the defendant shot him in cold blood.

Judgement:

After 3 days of jury selection and 5 days of witness testimony, the jury learned that the alleged victim was high on alcohol and cocaine and had a history of violence against others. On the night of the shooting, the defendant tried countless times to walk away from the alleged victim. The defendant did not care about the $2. The victim placed the defendant in a headlock and then charged at him like he had a gun behind his back. The defendant pulled out his pistol and shot the alleged victim from 6 inches away. The jury acquitted the defendant.

State v. John Doe (2014)

Charges: Murder, Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault

States case:

The defendant was represented by other counsel at trial. Although the defendant claimed self-defense, he was convicted of Murder, Felony Murder and Aggravated Assault and sentenced to Life in prison.

Judgement:

Mr. Sheffield was successful in convincing the trial judge to set aside all convictions after hearing testimony from several experts about the alleged victim's use of alcohol and cocaine on the night of the shooting and learning that one of the jurors was a convicted felon. Motion for New Trial granted.

State v. John Doe (2014)

Charges: Rape, Aggravated Assault with the Intent to Rape, Sexual Battery, False Imprisonment

States case:

The defendant, a university student, sexually assaulted five women: two girls were violently raped and three girls were groped on their breasts and vaginas. Defendant was facing a mandatory term of 25 years in prison, up to Life, and a lifetime on the Sex Offender Registry if he ever got out of prison.

Judgement:

The defendant adamantly denied to defense counsel that he forced himself on anyone. The investigation into each girl revealed that several girls had mental issues and were seeking attention. No girl ever reported the defendant for violent or assaultive behavior until they were publicly asked by police. One alleged rape victim used the false allegation to heel her fractured relationship with her boyfriend because she had cheated on him with the defendant. The other alleged rape victim who stated the defendant raped her 11 times was a lesbian who was “trying” intercourse with the defendant. She was angry about their break up and jealous. Psychological testing revealed the defendant was not a dangerous sexual predator or into sexual violence. After 4 months of intensive investigation and testing, defense counsel met with the chief of police. He chose not to arrest the defendant and closed his investigation. The University suspended but did not expel the defendant.

State v. John Doe: (2013)

Charges: Aggravated Sexual Battery, Aggravated Assault

States case:

The defendant penetrated the anus of another student with a mop handle while in the gymnasium showers.

Judgement:

Following Defense Counsel’s intensive review of the medical records, consultation with medical experts (a forensic pathologist and a colon-rectal surgeon), and interviews of witnesses, Defense Counsel was able to demonstrate that the mop handle did not penetrate the anus of the other student. The defendant pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault charges and did not have to register as a sex offender.

State v. John Doe: (2013)

Charges: Aggravated Assault With Intent to Rape

States case:

The defendant assaulted a woman by tackling her to the ground, punching her in the face, and threatening to rape her.

Judgement:

Following Defense Counsel’s investigation of facts, working with medical experts, preparation of case for trial, and presentation of evidence to the District Attorney, the District Attorney agreed in presentation of case to Grand Jury to include evidence from defendant's investigation. The Grand Jury dismissed all charges against the defendant.

State v. John Doe: (2013)

Charges: Aggravated Assault

States case:

The defendant assaulted a woman by having intercourse with her without her consent.

Judgement:

Following Defense Counsel’s investigation of facts, interviewing of fact witnesses, working with medical experts, preparation of case for trial, and presentation of evidence to the District Attorney, the lead detective, in conjunction with the District Attorney’s Office, agreed not to arrest the defendant.

State v. John Doe (2011)

Charges: Aggravated Assault

States case:

The defendant grabbed his girlfriend's throat of and punched her.

Judgement:

Defense investigation demonstrated that the alleged victim had no marks consistent with the alleged assault, that she made inconsistent statements about the alleged assault, that she was acting inconsistent with a person who had actually been assaulted in the manner described, and that rather than being a true victim, she was scorned by defendant’s decision to terminate their intimate relationship and seek friendship only. Defense also spoke with other witnesses who would counter other allegations made by the alleged victim that defendant had gotten violent with them too. The police agreed not to seek arrest warrants.

State v. John Doe (2010)

Charges: Aggravated Assault; Kidnapping

States case:

The defendant violently assaulted the mother of his new born son by punching, kicking, and stomping on her body and by dragging her by the legs and arms around his apartment, causing her severe rug burns to her elbows and shoulder blades.

Judgement:

This case centered on a custody dispute between non-married parents of a newborn child and the alleged victim’s history of lies, violent behavior, and alcohol abuse. On the morning after consuming large amounts of alcohol, the alleged victim called 911 and reported that “some guy she didn’t really know kip-napped her baby.” The “guy” she alleged was, in fact, the child’s biological father (here the defendant), with whom she actually left the child the night before while she went out drinking. This lie became the center piece to the defendant’s defense. Defense investigation also revealed the nature of the alleged victim’s history of lies, violence, and alcohol abuse and that the alleged victim had also previously falsely accused other people of wrongdoing. Also, using the police reports, 911 phone calls, and the 911 Call Center’s “CAD Reports,” the defense was able to show the prosecuting attorney’s office not only that the alleged victim lied about the kidnapping, but also that she failed to report altogether any abuse by the defendant when speaking to police about the alleged “kidnapping.” The defense also found and revealed to the prosecution a paternity affidavit from the State of Washington wherein the alleged victim swore that the defendant was, in fact, the child’s biological father, further demonstrating her lie in the case that “some guy” kin-napped her baby. Lastly, defense proved that the alleged victim mutilated herself during her drunken tirade and that the carpet burns were from her convulsing about the floor. The prosecution declined to formally charge the case and dismissed the arrest charges.

State v. Jane Doe (2010)

Charges: Armed Robbery; Kidnapping; Aggravated Assault

States case:

The 21-year-old defendant and girl-friend aided and abetted her boyfriend by driving the "get-a-way" vehicle after her boyfriend and two other men kidnapped two individuals, duct-taped them, and placed them in the truck of her car.

Judgement:

Defense investigation revealed an extensive and documented history of abuse by the defendant's boyfriend of her, including police reports and other court filings, photographs of prior injuries and property damage, which supported her explanation that she was threatened and forced to assist him in the robbery and kidnapping. The state agreed to reduce the charge to burglary, first offenders, and 2 years of probation without having to admit any criminal liability.

State v. John Doe (2009)

Charges: Aggravated Assault

States case:

A corporate executive, husband, and father of two high school girls threatened and assaulted a teenage boy with a baseball bat for slandering his daughter’s sexual reputation.

Judgement:

An intense, round-the-clock investigation stopped an indictment by proving to the state that the alleged victim in the case was not only a drug user and dealer, but a liar who was exaggerating the "talk" the defendant had with him about calling the defendant’s daughter a whore. Other eye witnesses confirmed that, although the defendant had a bat with him during the conversation, he never swung it at the alleged victim or threatened him with it. He merely had it with him for protection should the "drug dealing" ex-boyfriend (twice the defendant's size) choose to attack the defendant. The case was never presented to the Grand Jury and the arrest was expunged.

State v. Jane Doe (2008)

Charges: Aggravated Battery

States case:

Defendant committed a battery on another woman by hitting her in the face, bruising the woman and lacerating her scalp.

Judgement:

Defense investigation revealed that while the alleged victim had bruises on her face and a cut on her scalp, the defendant had none, which supported the state's position that the defendant was the aggressor. After searching extensively for a "missing witness," defense was able to introduce the State to another witness who allegedly saw the incident. In fact, the defendant did commit the battery, but only in self defense. It was the alleged victim who had started a fight with defendant. While confused at the marks on the victim, the State ultimately agreed with the defense that the defendant was simply better at defending herself than the alleged victim was at attacking the defendant.

State v. John Doe (2008)

Charges: Armed Robbery

States case:

Defendant committed an armed robbery on his cousin at gunpoint and stole $1600, which the cousin was going to use to pay his own rent.

Judgement:

Defendant had a prior armed robbery conviction and a second armed robbery charge, which had been reduced to Robbery. If found guilty, the defendant would never be released from prison. He had two small children and a wife. Defense investigated the case and learned through other witnesses that that the cousin had lied about the robbery; he was trying to get the defendant to pay him back $400 the defendant had borrowed from him. He thought calling the police would "scare" the defendant into action. For four months, while defendant sat in jail without a bond, defense found numerous witnesses and was able to show the State that the charges were based on a lie. The state chose to dismiss the indictment and free the defendant from jail. The defendant does not speak to his cousin anymore.

State v. John Doe (2008)

Charges: Murder

States case:

The thirty-one year-old mother of five was accused of murdering her 18 month daughter by either kicking or punching her in the ribs, causing her ribs to fracture and lacerate her liver, which caused her to bleed to death. At the time of the state's investigation into the defendant, the defendant also had four other children ranging in age from 3 to 14 years old, whom DFCS took from the defendant and into DFCS custody pending the outcome of the investigation.

Judgement:

The defense immediately learned of the defendant's children's statements made to police and DFCS investigators, wherein her six-year old son stated initially that he had accidentally fallen on top of his 18 month old sister and crushed her ribs against a tricycle handlebar. In fact, he was pretending to be a "wrestler" and body-slammed his baby sister. Defense worked with the defendant's family and neighbors to show investigators that defendant was a good mother to her children and worked with an independent medical expert who confirmed that the six-year-old boy could cause the type of injury seen in the deceased child in the manner he described. After five months having to endure a brutal investigation against her for the murder of her own daughter, the state dropped their investigation and returned the defendant's remaining children to her where they could finally mourn their loss as a family.

State v. John Doe (2008)

Charges: Family Violence Battery

States case:

The Defendant's wife accused the Defendant of holding her down and hitting her during an argument. The wife had bruises all over her body.

Judgement:

The defense was able to show that the Defendant's wife was actually the aggressor, and that it was the Defendant who called 911. After a three day jury trial the Defendant was foudn not guilty.

State v. John Doe (2007)

Charges: Arson; Aggravated Assault; Cruelty to the Children; False Imprisonment

States case:

The defendant held his wife and four children at gun point, refused to let them leave the home, set his couch on fire and tried to throw his wife on the burning couch, and then burned the home to the ground.

Judgement:

The defense presented evidence over two days, which included cross-examination of all state’s witnesses, which revealed prior inconsistent statements, ill motives, and outright lies. After one hour of deliberation, the jury acquitted defendant of all charges. Not Guilty on all counts.

State v. Jane Doe (2007)

Charges: Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Battery

States case:

The Defendant and her husband got into an argument with an acquaintance. The Defendant's husband stabbed the alleged victim while the Defendant pepper sprayed him. The alleged victim almost bled to death en route to the hospital.

Judgement:

Defense investigation revealed that the alleged victim was a petty crook and bully who was much larger than the Defendant's husband. During the scuffle between the alleged victim and the Defendant's husband the Defendant feared for her husband's life and pepper sprayed the alleged victim to stop the fight. After an 8 day trial the Defendant was found not guilty on all counts.

State v. Jane Doe (2006)

Charges: Felony Murder, Shaken Baby Syndrome

States case:

The Defendant was represented by other counsel at her jury trial on allegations that she had shaken to death a six month old baby boy she had been babysitting. The Defendant was sentenced to life in prison.

Judgement:

Mr. Peters was successful in having the trial judge set aside all guilty verdicts after hearing testimony from seven medical expert witnesses whose testimony indicated the child died from sickle cell disease and not from shaking. Motion for New Trial Granted. Defendant released from prison.

State v. John Doe (2001)

Charges: Felony Murder, Cruelty to Children, Aggravated Child Molestation and Aggravated Sexual Battery, Shaken Baby Syndrome

States case:

The Defendant was a 14 year old boy who was accused of inserting his finger into the vagina of a 23 month old baby he was babysitting and then shaking her to death.

Judgement:

Two week jury trial, Not Guilty All Counts

State v. Jane Doe (1996)

Charges: Murder, Felony Murder

States case:

The Defendant shot and killed two people who had come to her door unarmed to retrieve their television set. One of the victim's daughter testified that the shooting was unjustified.

Judgement:

The defense presented evidence that the alleged victims initiated the altercation, and that they had numerous prior incidents of violence. The investigation showed that the Defendant was protecting herself and her 3 year old twin sons when she pulled out her gun and began firing. After a four day trial, the Defendant was found not guilty and walked out of the courtroom after spending over one year in the Fulton County Jail awaiting trial.

State v. John Doe (1995)

Charges: Aggravated Assault

States case:

The Defendant was an employee at a motorcycle shop in downtown Atlanta and wounded an Atlanta Police Officer during what eye witnesses described as the execution of an innocent person by the Atlanta Police Officer on the sidewalk in front of the shop.

Judgement:

Following defense investigation of facts, preparation of case for trial, and presentation of evidence to the District Attorney the District Attorney agreed in presentation of case to Grand Jury to include evidence from Defendant's investigation. Grand Jury dismissed charges against Defendant.

State v. Jane and John Doe (1995)

Charges: Vehicular Homicide 2nd Degree

States case:

Eye witnesses claimed that the Defendants ran a red light in downtown Atlanta, collided with a Marta bus, and caused the death of a minor child in the Defendants vehicle.

Judgement:

Three day jury trial, Not Guilty All Counts.

State v. Dr. Jane Doe (1995)

Charges: Murder

States case:

The Defendant was a prominent neonatologist indicted for the murder of a premature infant baby which she was treating in the intensive care unit at a hospital in Clayton County, Georgia.

Judgement:

2 1/2 week Jury Trial. Jury deadlocked at 8 to 4 for acquittal. District Attorney then dismissed the indictment and did not retry Defendant. Defendant was represented by Douglas N. Peters and co-counsel Bobby Lee Cook.

State v. John Doe (1989)

Charges: Murder, Felony Murder, Armed Robbery, Theft by Taking

States case:

The Defendant was charged, along with a co-defendant, of assaulting, shooting and killing an elderly man at his home in order to rob him of a large amount of cash. The State sought the death penalty.

Judgement:

Two week Jury Trial, Not Guilty All Counts

State v. Jane Doe (1983)

Charges: Murder

States case:

The Defendant, a female law enforcement officer for Clayton County police, was charged with shooting (wounding and then executing) her husband.

Judgement:

1 Week Jury Trial, Not Guilty All Counts

Robert G. Rubin

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Jason B. Sheffield

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