A defendant in a felony murder case, in which police believe an attempted drug deal led to a man’s death, filed motions to exclude the word “victim” and the photographs of the deceased.
Leshan Tremiele Tanner and Rodnie Maurice Stokes, 27, were indicted Sept. 23 in the death of Cedric Antonio Huff.
Gainesville Police believe Huff’s death on June 21, 2014, was related to an attempt to buy drugs on June 5, 2014.
Tanner and Stokes were charged with robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, attempt to purchase marijuana and three counts of felony murder.
Tanner, who is represented by the Hall County public defender’s office, claims the use of the word “victim” would “deprive (Tanner) of the presumption of innocence and Due Process of law,” according to the motion.
“Pondering the question whether the witness indeed is a ‘victim’ is the entire purpose of this trial and is the issue to be considered by the jury,” the motion reads.
Additionally, Tanner and the public defenders hope to prevent “prejudicial sympathy for the deceased” of the photos.
Gov. Deal launches panel to spur juvenile justice reform
Gov. Nathan Deal announced Wednesday the creation of a committee involved with county-by-county juvenile justice reform.
Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner Avery Niles, of Gainesville, joins 10 others on the steering committee for the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative.
The committee provides assistance to the Criminal Justice Reform Council on potential policy decisions, focusing on ways to reduce detention and finding suitable alternatives.
“Georgia leads the nation in meaningful justice reforms,” Deal said in a news release. “We rely on evidence while embracing innovations, and this latest move continues that pattern.”
Nick Watson covers public safety issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him: