2015 murder conviction upheld for woman who shot taxi driver
Misty Moran enters Hall County Superior Court for closing statements in her October 2015 murder trial. Moran was found guilty of murder plus other charges in the March slaying of Isaias Tovar-Murillo, 46. She was sentenced to life in prison without a chance for parole. - photo by SCOTT ROGERS

A life sentence and murder conviction were upheld for a Gainesville woman who shot a taxi driver in an attempted robbery in 2015.

Misty Sunshine Moran was found guilty by a jury in October 2015 of malice murder and multiple other charges in the death of Isaias Tovar-Murillo, 46, of Gainesville.

Tovar-Murillo was a driver for Taxi El Palmar, and his body was found in the wooded area around Barrett and Dorsey Peek roads March 16, 2015.

Moran and others were accused of conspiring to rob Tovar-Murillo. Three of her co-defendants pleaded guilty to attempted armed robbery and other charges to avoid the felony murder charge.

A fourth co-defendant went to trial and was also sentenced to life in prison.

In briefs submitted to the Supreme Court of Georgia, Moran argued there was not enough evidence to prove she intended to kill Tovar-Murillo.

According to the court’s opinion, malice can be “formed in an instant, as long as it is present at the time of the killing.”

“(Moran) made admissions that she shot the victim as he tried to escape and while he was begging for his life,” according to the opinion. “The evidence also showed (Moran) shot the victim in the back of the head at a range close enough to cause stippling to the wound.”

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