Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Social Circle Teen Sentenced to Life in Prison

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jun 18, 2020 | 0 Comments

Walton County Superior Court

Social Circle, Ga. - A nineteen-year-old man was sentenced to life in prison for two counts of malice murder. According to prosecutors in Walton County, when the man was 16-years-old he messaged two older men on Facebook Marketplace arranging to purchase a dirt bike from them. The two men ended up driving from Meriwether County to Social Circle to drop off the bike.

The defendant climbed into the back of their truck to inspect the dirt bike. Then it is reported that he shot the driver twice in the back of the head and the other man three times in the head and once in the back. This led to the vehicle crashing. The defendant then crawled out of the truck bed, hopped onto the dirt bike, and left the two men to die. The District Attorney trying the case stated that he allegedly texted his girlfriend right after the shooting and bragged to her about the bike. The DA also stated that, “There was no sudden impulsion in this crime. This was a premeditated crime, cold and calculated.”

As a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney, one of the reasons I post about the law is to clear up any confusion as to the difference laws and offenses in the state of Georgia. There are many different homicide offenses in Georgia, and in today's post, I will focus on the offense of malice murder - also known as simply murder.

Murder in Georgia

Murder in Georgia is defined by Georgia Law in O.C.G.A. §16-5-1(a) as:

A person commits the offense of murder when he unlawfully and with malice aforethought, express or implied, causes the death of another human being.

There are a few very important terms that set murder apart from other homicide offenses in our state such as manslaughter or felony murder.

Our courts define malice as a wicked or corrupt motive or an intention to do evil and which the result is fatal and an unlawful objective to kill without justification or mitigation.

Express malice is the deliberate intention to unlawfully take the life of another human being, which is manifested by external circumstances capable of proof. Malice shall be implied where no considerable provocation appears and where all the circumstances of the killing show an abandoned and malignant heart.

It probably goes without saying that the criminal offense of murder is classified as a felony in the state of Georgia. The penalty if convicted of murder is either life in prison without the possibility of parole, a life sentence, or the death penalty.

Practice Note

If you or a loved one has been arrested contact our offices now. We can help you figure out the next right move in your case.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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