Practice Area: Criminal Defense
Outcome: Life Sentence Reduced To 11 Years - Paroled
Description: C.J.S. shot his boss 21 times. He unloaded a semi-auto pistol of 13 shots, reloaded and shot the boss 8 more times to be certain. I assisted Chris McKee in getting a reversal from the GA Supreme Court, however, there was a huge problem. Only the murder conviction was reversed. Left standing was a conviction for aggravated assault in regard to a second person who was not harmed for which C.J.S. received a sentence of 20 years concurrent with the life sentence for murder. I filed an Extraordinary Motion For New Trial with the trial court based upon a massive amount of evidence we had gathered in regard to the violent predisposition of the victim of the homicide. The victim was a small time tow truck business owner who thought and acted like he was Tony Soprano. He always carried a firearm, and he had a pistol stuck in its usual spot in the back of his pants when he was shot. The second person was allowed to leave the location unharmed and my client called the police confessing as he reported the shooting. The trial judge reversed the aggravated assault conviction, and we entered a guilty plea to voluntary manslaughter which was, in fact and law, the appropriate charge. The case presented a perfect example of an imperfect self-defense case. The aggravated assault was dismissed. After an extensive sentencing hearing, Judge Workman sentenced C.J.S. to 11 years to serve on the voluntary manslaughter charge. A third lawyer, a childhood friend of mine named Jake Arbes of Atlanta, was retained by the family of C.J.S. to seek further relief from the Parole Board. Jake uses this case in his seminar teachings to illustrate how the record can be used to move the Parole Board to do things one does not think the Board will possibly do. He publicly credits our efforts at building the record for the sentencing hearing as the primary source for the materials he later presented to the Parole Board. The homicide occurred on 8/30/1998 and Chris was paroled on 9/19/2006. He has moved back to his home in the northeast, and he is now on parole. And, Chris is a pretty good guy.