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David Keener receives life sentence in murder case
Guilty verdict came after more than 2 hours of jury deliberation
Assistant District Attorney Juliet Aldridge gathers items Wednesday afternoon in Hall County Superior Court following the conviction of David William Keener for the felony murder of Randall Huling.

A man received a life prison sentence Wednesday afternoon in a felony murder case involving another man’s head being hit into a guardrail.
David William Keener, 51, was convicted of felony murder in the death of Randall Huling.

Superior Court Judge Andrew Fuller handed down a life prison sentence.

The jury deliberated for more than two hours before returning with a verdict around 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Keener faced a nine-count indictment related to three separate alleged attacks on three different people. The cases were split into three trials to avoid prejudice, court documents show.

Keener was convicted last week of aggravated battery for an alleged assault on Steven Yearwood by kicking the man and subsequently sewing his ear. He was acquitted, however, of the accusation of kicking Yearwood with steel-toed boots.

For the trial involving Huling, Keener faced two counts of felony murder and one count each of aggravated battery and aggravated assault. The jury convicted Keener on all counts related to Huling.

When entering the sentencing phase of the trial, Assistant District Attorney Juliet Aldridge presented Keener’s criminal history dating back to 1985.

“The state would be asking for the mandatory life sentence on the felony murder count and would ask that you run the other two counts consecutive to that, given that there was a separate victim,” Aldridge said.

Keener’s family in the courtroom declined to make a statement.

Attorney Dan Sammons, representing Keener, asked Fuller to consider the previous plea discussions that had significantly less time in prison.

Additionally, Keener’s attorney addressed the decision on the Yearwood case to convict on one count related to kicking and acquit on another related to kicking with steel-toed boots.

“If he’s been found not guilty of (aggravated assault), then I would submit that (aggravated battery) is an inconsistent verdict,” Sammons said.

Fuller handed down a 20-year sentence for the Yearwood aggravated battery to be served consecutive to the life sentence.

Keener was given a chance for parole.

Keener addressed the court following his sentencing, maintaining that he did not commit the murder. He also said he believed the guilty verdict rested with the evidence from Robert Salvador, an inmate who testified that Keener discussed the alleged attacks while incarcerated.

The final two counts of the indictment involving Keener were moved to the inactive docket.