Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Third Out of Five Co-Defendants Pleads Guilty to Murder and Burning of an 83 Year Old Georgia Woman

Posted by Richard Lawson | Sep 10, 2018 | 0 Comments

Mina Ellery, a 19 year old woman, admitted to her involvement in the murder of Dorothy Dow in 2016. Dow operated a farm in Meriwether County. According to the prosecution in this most recent court case, Ellery and four others broke into Dow's house and robbed and beat her. 

The autopsy revealed that that Dow's arms were broken, and her face was badly cut and bruised. The five then poured lighter fluid on her body and set her on fire. Dow ended up going to Grady Memorial Hospital and dying twenty days later. 

Ellery is the third out of the five that have been accused as being involved in Dow's murder. Most reports say that Ellery has pled guilty to malice murder. 

As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I would like to clear up some things about homicide laws here in Georgia. The following are homicide offenses under Georgia Law:

In today's post, I will focus on what Ellery was actually convicted of last Friday: murder. 

Murder in Georgia

The criminal offense of murder in Georgia (sometimes referred to in the media as “malice murder”) is defined by Georgia Law 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. O.C.G.A. §16-5-1(a).

By law, malice is required to commit murder. Malice can best be defined as having a wicked motive or an intention to do evil. 

To convict someone of murder in the state of Georgia, the prosecution must prove that the accused person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This can only be done by demonstrating through evidence that there was either express or implied malice involved in the killing of another human being. 

The penalty if convicted of murder in Georgia is a life sentence in prison without parole, the death penalty, or life in prison.

Practice Note

As a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney, it is important for me to note that not everyone who is accused or arrested for committing a crime in Georgia is guilty of committing that particular act. 

Whenever I address the topic of death, I need to recognize that the death of a human being regardless of the cause is a horrific situation. However, an accused person may not be to blame. There are Georgia Criminal Defenses that apply in situations of wrongful murder accusations. 

If you or a loved one has been accused of committing a criminal offense in Georgia, contact us today.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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