In a decision released Monday, the Georgia Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Gregory Johnson.
Johnson was convicted after a jury trial for the malice murder of Carol Kaye Lewis and other related crimes. In his request for a new trial, Johnson raised claims of trial court error and ineffective assistance of trial counsel.
The crimes were committed on November 1, 2002. Johnson was indicted by a Bartow County grand jury on August 8, 2003, and charged with two counts of malice murder, felony murder, armed robbery, and three counts of theft by receiving. The state filed its notice to seek the death penalty on December 29, 2003. After a trial on October 17-31, 2006, the jury found him guilty of all charges except a single count of theft by receiving.
Following the sentencing phase of trial, the jury found the existence of four statutory aggravating circumstances and recommended a sentence of life without parole. On November 21, 2006, the trial court followed the jury’s recommendation and sentenced Johnson to life without parole for malice murder, a consecutive term of life in prison for armed robbery, a consecutive 12-month term in prison for theft by receiving and a consecutive ten-year sentence for a second theft by receiving conviction. The remaining counts merged or were vacated by operation of law.