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Ga. high court upholds sentence in child abuse murder case

State Supreme court gives opinion in complex

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SUMMARIES OF OPINIONS

Published Monday, February 22, 2016

 

Please note: Opinion summaries are prepared by the Public Information Office for the general public and news media. Summaries are not prepared for every opinion released by the Court, but only for those cases considered of great public interest. Opinion summaries are not to be considered as official opinions of the Court. The full opinions are available on the Supreme Court website at www.gasupreme.us .

 

 

THE STATE V. KELLEY (S15G1197)

            In a 6-to-1 ruling, the Supreme Court of Georgia has ruled in favor of the Fulton County District Attorney and reversed a decision by the Georgia Court of Appeals that allowed a trial judge to impose a lighter sentence than the prosecutor had recommended as part of a plea agreement.

Film Day at the Capitol Shines a Spotlight on Georgia’s Film Industry

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     ATLANTA, Feb. 22, 2016 – The Georgia Film Office, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), today celebrated Georgia’s thriving film and television industry at Film Day at the Capitol. Governor Deal, Speaker David Ralston, GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr and Georgia Film Academy Executive Director Jeffrey Stepakoff spoke during the celebration to recognize the industry and its importance to Georgia’s economy.

Fire destroys Whitestone Road home

 

 

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Dan Pool / Photo The fire was too far along when it was reported for crews to save the structure.

        Flames quickly destroyed a rental home on Whitestone Road Thursday mid-morning.

Pickens crews were on the scene shortly after the fire was reported (Feb. 11th) but could do little to save the home where Mack and Betty Price lived.

42 pounds of meth base powder seized in Woodstock

 

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The Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad seized 42 pounds of methamphetamine base powder found hidden in three fire extingisher tanks. Law officals believe the powder was headed to a lab where it would be turned into crystal meth. Street value is estimated at $546,000.

 

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Four men, above, were arrested in the massive methamphetamine bust. 

 

Press Release - Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad

 

On January 26, 2016, Agents with the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office arrested an Emerson woman with possession of a trafficking amount of methamphetamine.  Bartow investigators believed that the drugs came from a group operating out of Woodstock, Georgia.  Based on information from Bartow County, Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad (CMANS) Agents were subsequently able to identify a group of individuals who were selling and importing drugs into Northern Georgia.

Supreme Court denies stay of execution

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     Atlanta, February 17, 2016 – The Supreme Court of Georgia has unanimously denied a stay of execution for Travis Clinton Hittson, who is scheduled to be put to death at 7:00 tonight by lethal injection at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, GA.

 

 

     Hittson, 45, was sentenced to death in 1993 in Houston County for the murder of Conway Utterbeck. The two served together as Navy crewmen in Pensacola, Florida, on the U.S.S. Forrestal. In April 1992, Hittson and Utterbeck left Pensacola along with another Navy man, Edward Vollmer, to visit Vollmer’s parents in Warner Robins, GA. During the visit, Hittson beat Utterback with an aluminum baseball bat, then shot him in the head. Hittson and Vollmer then dismembered Utterback’s body, burying his torso in Houston County and the rest of his remains back in Pensacola.

 

 

      In addition to denying Hittson’s motion for a stay of execution, the state Supreme Court has also denied his request to appeal a ruling yesterday by the Butts County Superior Court. That court both denied his motion for a stay and dismissed his claim that at his trial, the Houston County Superior Court had improperly allowed in testimony from the State’s psychologist, who said that during a mental health evaluation, Hittson had described the victim as “a hillbilly” and “an asshole.” Hittson claimed that the State’s psychologist should not have been permitted to testify about his statements because Hittson chose not to present his own expert testimony.