Photo by Heather Middleton
By Mehgaan Jones
A Clayton County Superior Court jury came to a split decision, Monday, regarding the trial of a man accused of the 2007 death of a Jonesboro woman.
The verdicts: Not guilty of arson in the first degree, and of aggravated assault -- and a mistrial on six other charges, including malice murder, felony murder, false imprisonment, kidnapping, robbery, and burglary. The mistrial was declared because the jurors could not reach agreement on those six charges.
For two-and-a-half days, the jury deliberated, with Superior Court Judge Albert Collier presiding, to determine the fate of Timothy Alan Boothe.
According to a Clayton County arrest warrant, Boothe, 44, wrapped an ace-type bandage around the face and head of Geneva Strickland, who was 68 at the time of her death, and cut off her ability to breathe.
"The house was also set on fire and Ms. Strickland died from suffocation due to the smoke and her inability to breathe correctly," the warrant added. "There was no legal justification for this intentional act."
The incident occurred at Strickland's home, on Fayetteville Road in Jonesboro, according to court documents.
"During the course of the investigation, a glove was found wrapped in the bandage which was a contributing factor in her death," the application for the criminal arrest warrant said, adding that DNA located in the glove belonged to Boothe.
Boothe is being represented by Darrell Reynolds, who had little to say about the trial and the verdict on Monday. "It was a trying trial, as all trials are, " Reynolds said. He added that he has mixed feelings about the verdict, but "we will go at it again," he said indicating that there will most likely be another trial in the case.
The case was prosecuted by Clayton County Executive Assistant District Attorney Jason Green, who could not be reached for comment, on Monday. Assistant District Attorney Luana Popescu, who prosecuted the case with Green, would not comment much about the trial, because, she said, it is still ongoing [because of the mistrial].
She said the defense argued that Boothe had done some work at the victim's home, and that is how they knew each other. The application for an arrest warrant for Boothe stated that he is known to be the father of the victim's niece's child.
According to Popescu, Boothe is in a South Carolina jail, rather than the Clayton County Jail, because he is in a wheelchair, and the South Carolina facility has wheelchair access. He will remain in jail until his next trial, according to officials with the Clayton County District Attorney's Office.
Popescu declined to discuss the reason Boothe is in a wheelchair, but did confirm that his current physical state occurred after the 2007 incident for which he was being tried.