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Gainesville woman appeals taxicab slaying conviction
Misty Moran

A Gainesville woman convicted in October of shooting a taxicab driver in March 2015 has appealed her conviction and sentence to the Supreme Court of Georgia.

Misty Sunshine Moran, 40, filed her notice of appeal April 12 through attorney Debra Kay Jefferson.

She was sentenced on a murder charge to life in prison without parole after the death of Isaias Tovar-Murillo, 46, of Gainesville.

Hall County investigators arrested Moran and four others after Tovar-Murillo’s body was found March 15, 2015, in the wooded area around Barrett and Dorsey Peek roads.

At trial, defense attorney C. David Turk III said it was an “unintentional death.”

Jefferson filed an amended motion for new trial in March, claiming there was insufficient evidence to support the charges.

“The trial court erred in admitting photo images of the defendant’s cell phone text messages,” according to the new trial motion.

The motion for new trial was heard and denied on April 12.

Moran was convicted on charges of malice murder, felony murder, criminal attempt to commit armed robbery, conspiracy to commit a crime, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and violation of the Georgia Street Gang and Terrorism Prevention Act.

Three co-defendants with Moran pleaded guilty in August to avoid prosecution for felony murder. Nicholas Allen Gonzalez, 24, Justin John Adams, 22, and Ignacio Mondragon, 21, all of Gainesville, agreed to a guilty plea for attempted armed robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and violation of the Georgia Street Gang and Terrorism Prevention Act.

Adams and Mondragon received 30-year sentences and will spend 15 years of that in prison. Gonzalez was given a 25-year sentence and is expected to be in jail for 13 years.

A fourth co-defendant Margarita Leanos, 29, of Gainesville, was sentenced to life in prison with the chance of parole.

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