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Georgia Supreme Court reverses murder conviction

7:06 AM, May 30, 2012   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Steven Lamar Scott has already spent two years in prison. In March of 2010, he was convicted of felony murder and sentenced to life behind bars for shooting and killing Dan Smith.

This week he found out that sentence has been overturned. He now has the right to a new trial.

In a decision handed down Tuesday, the Georgia Supreme Court unanimously reversed the murder conviction.

According to court documents, Scott killed Smith when he found out the man had allegedly molested his niece. When Scott confronted the man, he called the 16-year-old an expletive, then said he could do whatever he wanted. Witnesses say Scott fired 12 rounds at Smith.

The court on Tuesday published an opinion saying a DeKalb County trial judge erred in excluding evidence of the alleged molestation and in not telling jurors they could consider voluntary manslaughter.

The DeKalb County District Attorney's office would not comment on the case.

Atlanta attorney Don Samuel is not involved in the Scott case, but said the DA's office will likely retry him.

"Now he's gonna have the chance to go back to trial and ask the jury to find him guilty of a lesser offense, voluntary manslaughter, for which he could still be sentenced to 20 years in prison," Samuel said.

"So even if he's successful, he ain't going home," Samuel added.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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