The Supreme Court of Georgia unanimously affirmed the murder conviction for David William Keener, who slammed a man’s head into a guardrail.
Keener was given a life prison sentence in July 2015 for the death of Randall Huling, who succumbed to his injuries in September 2014.
Huling was found Aug. 15, 2014, in a ditch behind a liquor store. A medical examiner determined the man had a fracture at the base of his skull.
“The State also presented testimony that (Keener), while in pretrial detention, had admitted to a fellow detainee that he had smashed Huling’s head into the guardrail three times and, further, that (another man) had witnessed the assault,” according to the opinion.
Keener’s defense presented a doctor who testified the head trauma came from a fall.
Keener claimed his trial attorney was ineffective by not impeaching a witness who had made inconsistent statements.
The court disagreed, calling the attorney’s cross-examination of the witness “sound.”
“The defense theory at trial was that Huling died as a result of a fall and that (the man) was an unreliable witness,” according to the opinion.
The court also disagreed with Keener’s assertion about the trial court’s consideration for a new trial.
“While the trial court declined to exercise its discretion to grant (Keener) a new trial, the trial court fully satisfied its duty to consider and evaluate the claim,” according to the opinion.