ATLANTA — The Georgia Supreme Court has upheld the life without parole sentence of Davious Letron “Foot“ Taylor for the 2009 shooting death of Onterio Perez Dorsey.
Taylor, who according to Georgia Department of Corrections records is incarcerated at Hays State Prison, argued that there had been insufficient evidence at trial and that the judge should not have allowed outside evidence.
The court ruled that there had been sufficient evidence at trial, which included eyewitness testimony by Kelvin Sheats, who had driven Dorsey, 30, of Forest Park, to the Lexington Square Townhomes in Conley to do a drug deal with Taylor and codefendant Courtney Alexander Banks. Sheats told police he saw a man fitting Taylor’s description tell Dorsey to “give it up,” then shoot Dorsey in the abdomen. Sheats misidentified Taylor in a 2009 photo lineup, then picked out Taylor in another photo lineup when the case was reopened in 2013. Sheats also told police that Taylor had threatened him multiple times while both were incarcerated. Another eyewitness, Brandon Jones, also identified Taylor as the gunman.
On Taylor’s argument about evidence from other cases, the court noted Georgia law allows introduction of extrinsic evidence, as long as it passes a three-pronged legal test:
♦ the evidence is relevant to an issue other than the defendant’s character;
♦ the probative value is not substantially outweighed by prejudice;
♦ there is sufficient proof for a jury to find the defendant committed the other act.
Under State v. Jones (2015), a conviction based on this extrinsic evidence can be overturned, the high court noted, “only when there is a clear abuse of discretion.”
The case was filed in 2014. In 2016,” the state gave notice, then introduced 10 days before trial, evidence of a 2008 drug possession incident “to show motive, intent, knowledge, and preparation and plan.” The 2008 incident was stricken and the jury was told to ignore it.
In another 2011 incident, Rondriecko Nash testified that he had been shot in the stomach at a Clayton County hotel; an officer testified Nash had picked Taylor out of a lineup. Taylor pleaded guilty in that case in 2012 and was sentenced to five years, two to serve, with three years’ probation.
The court also disagreed with Taylor’s claims that his attorney had not provided effective counsel.
Read the full decision at https://law.justia.com/cases/georgia/supreme-court/2019/s19a0373.html.