All of the Georgia Supreme Court justices ruled to uphold a Hall County man’s murder conviction and life sentence, which stem from a 2008 shooting.
Hugo M. Tepanca was convicted in 2010 on murder charges related to the death of Jose Sanchez-Vargas. The confrontation began outside the home of of Alicia Hernandez, a woman with whom Tepanca had been romantically involved.
Tepanca sought an appeal on the basis that the jury was not instructed about the fact that if adultery is a factor, a lesser conviction of voluntary manslaughter can be made.
“In this case, none of the parties were married; therefore, no instruction regarding adultery as a provocation for voluntary manslaughter was warranted,” reads the opinion, which was released Monday. “Likewise, the evidence indicated that Tepanca was not provoked by sexual jealousy at the time he shot Sanchez-Vargas. Tepanca testified that, at the time of the shooting, he was not mad at Sanchez-Vargas and, instead, he was only trying to talk peacefully with him. He further testified that he shot at Sanchez-Vargas because he was afraid that Sanchez-Vargas could have been reaching for a weapon.”