William Thornton was found guilty on Friday and convicted of murder and armed robbery during the commission of a crime concerning the death of his ex-girlfriend, Jullisa Cooke.
Last year, in January, Cooke was found dead in her car, stabbed over fifty times outside her house in Carroll County. The result of Thornton's trial is two life sentences for Thornton without the possibility of parole.
Let's look at what Thornton was convicted of on Friday.
Murder in Georgia
Murder in Georgia is defined by the Georgia Code by O.C.G.A. §16-5-1. Section (a) of the statute defines murder as: “when a person unlawfully and with malice aforethought, express or implied, causes the death of another human being.” Georgia law defines malice as having a wicked or corrupt motive or an intention to do evil. Georgia courts will imply malice when there is no considerable provocation done by the alleged victim.
The penalty for a murder conviction is a life sentence in prison without parole, the death penalty, or life in prison.
Armed Robbery in Georgia
The Georgia Code defines armed robbery in Georgia as when a person “with intent to commit theft, he or she takes property of another from the person or the immediate presence of another by use of an offensive weapon, or any replica, article, or device have the appearance of such weapon” (O.C.G.A. §16-8-41).
The offense of armed robbery is considered a seriously violent felony. A conviction can include the penalty of a minimum of ten years in prison to life in prison or even the death penalty.
According to the reports, on the very same morning that Cooke's body was discovered, Thornton was witnessed at a family member's house in blood-soaked clothing. When investigators went to Thornton's residence, they recovered Cooke's cellphone from his trash as well as Thornton's bloody clothing, bloody gloves, and a bloody knife. DNA testing identified Cooke's blood.
As you can see, the State of Georgia sentenced Thornton with the maximum sentences for each offense allowed by Georgia law.
With particularly violent crimes, the state punishes the maximum amount to make it very clear that Georgia does not tolerate the behavior of violent criminals.
But as a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, it is important for me to note that not everyone who is accused of a crime is guilty of the crime. If you or a loved one has been charged or wrongly accused with crimes against people in Georgia, contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney today.