A judge ruled Thursday that a shooting victim’s last words were admissible and not grounds for a new trial, according to court documents.
Leshan Tanner, 44, was found guilty in September 2015 of felony murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and attempt to purchase marijuana. He received a life prison sentence.
Tanner was convicted in the shooting death of Cedric Huff, who was shot June 5, 2014, on West Avenue in Gainesville. Huff died of his injuries June 21, 2014, at Northeast Georgia Medical Center.
The central issue in Tanner’s motion for new trial was the testimony of mother Mary Huff, who briefly talked with her son before he died at the hospital.
“Mrs. Huff asked Mr. Huff who robbed him and Mr. Huff identified Leshan Tanner, the defendant, as the person who robbed him,” according to Superior Court Judge Andrew Fuller’s order.
Tanner’s counsel Larry Duttweiler argued for the statements to be barred as hearsay and questioned the validity of a man under medication, according to court documents.
Fuller ruled in his order that the statements were “evidence of material facts” relevant to Huff’s death.
“The court further found that the statements were more probative than any other evidence that the state of Georgia could reasonably have produced at trial and tended to show motive,” according to the order.
Tanner was acquitted in that trial on two other felony murder charges and a count of robbery.
The motion was denied.