The Georgia Supreme Court recently affirmed the September 2018 jury trial conviction of Brian Atkins Jr. for the killing of Brian Parks, 18 at the time of his death.
“It’s always nice to have all of your work reviewed with a fine-toothed comb and for the court to conclude that we did everything proper,” said Toombs Judicial Circuit District Attorney Bill Doupe.
Parks was shot Oct. 18 2016, at a Springfield Court Apartments, where according to court documents, he and Atkins had been living for a few months.
In June 2018, a McDuffie County grand jury indicted Atkins on counts of malice murder, felony murder predicated on aggravated assault, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
In a September 2018 jury trial, Atkins was found not guilty of malice murder. However, he was found guilty of felony murder and all other charges. He was sentenced to life in prison on the felony murder charge and an additional five years in prison on the firearms charge.
Doupe said the appellate attorney combed the transcript and records of the case looking for possible errors and filed a brief asking for a new trial.
“We filed our brief asserting that there were no errors and that Atkins was justly convicted by a McDuffie County jury,” said Doupe. “The Supreme Court considered the arguments and all the evidence and agreed with us in ruling the conviction proper.”
Doupe said every murder case that is appealed goes to the Georgia Supreme Court.
“We hope with a verdict like this it will send a message to put the guns down,” Doupe said.
The district attorney described Atkins as “callous” when in the way immediately after the shooting he lied and attempted to blame some others up the street. Atkins even provided names to investigators. Doupe is quick to give credit to law enforcement for sorting through those false claims quickly.
“Fortunately the law enforcement slowed it down and instead of jumping in their cars and charging up there they looked at everything and started questioning him a little more,” said Doupe. “Eventually he admitted he was lying.”