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Former attorney, defendant’s mother testify in Snapchat murder trial
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Talon Lowery sits in Hall County Superior Court Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, during day one of his murder trial. Lowery is accused of the November 2017 murder of Bryan Ramirez at a Cleveland Highway Texaco. - photo by Scott Rogers

Previous story: Talon Lowery’s mother testified Monday, Jan. 30, in her son’s trial, telling the jury about her son’s anxiety and paranoia about people following him.

Monday marked the fourth day of testimony for the jury in the Lowery trial. Lowery, 24, of Sautee, faces a murder charge from the Nov. 2, 2017, shooting of Bryan Ramirez, 18, outside of the Cleveland Highway Texaco.

Matt Leipold, a former public defender who is now a Hall County Juvenile Court judge, testified about his meeting with Lowery a few days after the Nov. 2, 2017, arrest.

Lowery told Leipold he posted on Snapchat about five minutes after he fired the shot. Law enforcement used the video to identify Lowery as a suspect.

Lowery has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, as his defense has focused their strategy on his diagnosed schizophrenia and delusions related to the rap industry.

Concerned about Lowery’s mental status, Leipold asked Lowery if he had ever tried to hurt himself, to which the Sautee man said no. Lowery also said there was nothing wrong with him mentally.

“He said he did not know why he was in jail,” Leipold testified

Leipold also learned Lowery had seen a rap video on YouTube, and “the rap video explained why he did what he did, why he did the shooting.” Leipold said he did not get any other specifics about the video.

He described Lowery as generally calm and engaged, not agitated or angry like clients may be when arrested.

Lowery did not mention anything to Leipold related to the different delusions the defendant has reportedly espoused, including receiving communications from people in the rap industry.

Defense attorney Jeffrey Brickman later brought Lowery’s mother to the stand.

Lowery’s mother said her son felt he was getting messages through Instagram posts and other innocuous items around their home.

Lowery dropped out of school his junior year and didn’t have any close friends at the time of the shooting, according to her testimony.

“Given that he was showing this kind of paranoia, was it not something you took seriously?” Assistant District Attorney Harold Buckler asked. “Is that why you let him keep two shotguns and a rifle plus the ammunition in his room?”

“I took everything seriously, but he wasn’t showing any signs of anything that would have been an indicator of anything that would be violent or anything else,” Lowery’s mother said.

The trial will continue Tuesday, Jan. 31.