The Georgia Supreme Court has affirmed the murder conviction of a Warren County man who claimed that the superior court judge incorrectly instructed the jury and claimed ineffective counsel in his trial.
On Aug. 5, the supreme court affirmed the murder conviction of David Jackson in the Christmas Eve stabbing death of John Norman Thomas in 2013.
At approximately 10 p.m., Dec. 24, 2013 Jackson and Thomas fought outside a home in the 300 block of Depot Street in Warrenton and Thomas was stabbed at least 47 times with a steak knife. Thomas died at University Hospital McDuffie from stab wounds to his neck and body.
On Oct. 4, 2016, a Warren County Superior Court jury convicted Jackson of malice murder, aggravated assault, and various other offenses in connection with the stabbing death of John Norman Thomas. He was sentenced to life in prison.
On appeal, Jackson argued that the trial court committed plain error by giving an incorrect jury instruction on self-defense; the trial court erred in its re-charge to the jury on voluntary manslaughter; and his trial counsel was ineffective. He requested a new trial with new counsel which was denied on Dec. 6, 2018. He then filed an appeal on Dec. 17, 2018, and his appeal was docketed to the April 2019 term of the Georgia Supreme Court and submitted for a decision.
The Georgia Supreme Court reviewed transcripts, evidence in the case and filed a decision Aug. 5, 2019.
In the opinion, the court said, “Finding no reversible error, the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed.”
Judge Roger Dunaway presided over the trial before his retirement and Judge Harold Hinesley took over the post conviction hearing.
According to Toombs Judicial Circuit District Attorney William “Bill” Doupe´, the Christmas Eve murder was senseless and fueled by alcohol.
“This Christmas eve murder seemed so senseless – it involved an alcohol fueled argument between people who knew each other from the neighborhood and led to one man’s death and another man being confined to prison for the rest of his life,” Doupe´ said.
Doupe´ was pleased with the Georgia Supreme Court’s decision. “Mr. Thomas was loved by his family, and I am pleased that we were able to get them some degree of justice through this jury trial and ultimate conviction, “ he said.
The district attorney said the supreme court’s Aug. 5 decision is confirmation that the trial court acted appropriately.
“The Georgia Supreme Court reviewed all the transcripts and evidence in the case and confirmed that this trial was conducted in a fair and just manner. That is always a reason to [have a] breath of relief,” Doupe´ said.