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Selected Case Results- 40 Years of experience


The State of Georgia v. Frederick Lee Gude, Fulton County Superior Court, Case No. 04SC15408. Mr. Gude is charged with killing his girlfriend with an ice pick. The State asked for the death penalty. After years of litigaion the State dropped the death penalty and Mr. Gude was sentenced to a life sentence.

The State of Georgia v. Jamie Weis, Pike County Superior Court, Case No. 06R097. Mr. Weis was accused of killing an elderly neighbor in a foiled burglary. The State sought the death penalty. After years of litigation including appeals to the Georgia and United States Supreme Court Mr. Weis was allowed to enter a plea of guilty and he received a life sentence.

State v. Eaddie, Clayton Superior Court (2009). Case dismissed on motion.

State v. Boynes, Dekalb Superior Court. Case dismissed on motion.

State v. Cawthorne, Dekalb Superior Court (2009). Client found to be incompetent to stand trial.

State v. Laird, Clayton superior Court (2009). Client found to be incompetent to stand trial.

Baltazar v. Prince, settlement of auto-pedestrian leg amputation damage case for policy limits.(2009)

Padilla v. Haley, settlement of auto-pedestrian wrongful death case for policy limits.(2008)

The State of Georgia v. Jonathan Rucker, Douglas County Superior Court, Case No. 04CR613, Judge David Emerson. Successful death penalty defense of Mr. Rucker by Mr. West as lead counsel, with the assistance of Joe Vigneri of the Georgia Capital Defender, who shot two friends for disrespecting him. This case was the first case in sixteen trials where a death sentence was not returned in Douglas County when sought by the state. (2008)

The State of Georgia v. Kenneth Reese, Fulton County Superior Court, Case No. 03SC0478. Successful death penalty defense of Mr. Reese who was charged with killing an on-duty Fulton County Police Officer.

State v. Vongmany, Fulton Superior Court (2007) Jury acquittal of armed robbery.

The State of Georgia v. Brigido Soto, Hall County Superior Court, Case No. 02CR712, Judge John Girardeau. The Mexican Capital Legal Assistance Program (MCLAP) retained Mr. West because they feared that Mr. Soto was one of those Mexican nationals most likely to receive the death sentence. Mr. West, with assistance from the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR), successfully defended Mr. Soto who was accused of shooting two men in a drug deal gone badly.

Ribeiro v. Fleisher. Settlement of auto-bicycle collision with brain trauma case for insurance policy limits.

Serato v. Forsyth Appliance Service. Settlement of brain damage case for insurance policy limits.(2006)

Rebollar v. Waicosky Enterprises, Inc. Settlement of truck-auto wrongful death case for policy limits.

State v. Reddicks, Cobb County State Court (2005) Jury acquittal-selling alcohol to minor in sting operation

State v. Martin, 278 Ga. 418 (2004). Prosecutor stopped from trying to remove sympathetic judge.

Bounds v. State, 264 Ga. App. 584 (2003). Reversal of conviction where client forced to represent himself without a lawyer.

Milliken v. Stewart, 276 Ga. 712 (2003). Reversal of conviction in habeas corpus proceedings.

The State of Georgia v. Phillip Anthony Harwood, Fulton County Superior Court, Case No. Y-05414, Judge T. Jackson Bedford. Mr. Harwood was charged with the 1987 hit-for-hire murder of Atlanta socialite Lita Sullivan. In a negotiated plea, the State reduced the charges to voluntary manslaughter and a 20 year sentence in exchange for Harwood’s testimony against Lita’s estranged husband, millionaire fugitive James Sullivan.

The State of Georgia v. Bautista Ramirez, Superior Court of Dekalb County, Case No. 00CR3159, Judge Gail Flake. Successful death penalty defense of Bautista Ramirez, by Mr. West and Attorney Dwight L. Thomas, an undocumented Mexican who shot and killed Hugo Arango, an on-duty Doraville, Georgia police officer. Jury acquittal of malice murder.

The State of Georgia v. Daniel Brian Appleby, Douglas County Superior Court, Case No. 03CR0918, Judge Robert James, prosecutor Dave McDade. Successful death penalty defense of Mr. Appleby who was accused of killing his girlfriend’s 2 year old son.

The State of Georgia v. Devine King Thomas, Fulton County Superior Court, Case No. 04SC12433, Judge Bennie Lane, prosecutor District Attorney Paul Howard. Successful death penalty defense of Mr. Thomas who was accused of killing his girlfriend with a knife and nearly cutting off her head.

Dawson v. State, 274 Ga. 327 (2001) The Georgia Supreme Court is the first court in the country to declare that the Electric Chair is cruel and unusual punishment bared by the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The State of Georgia v. Robert Collier, Catoosa County Superior Court. Successful death penalty defense by Mr. West and Amy Donnella, of another police officer murder case.

The State of Georgia v. Timothy Dawson, Fulton County Superior Court, Case No. Y-11554. Judge Wendy L. Shoob declared death by electrocution cruel and unusual punishment in this case in which Mr. West was lead counsel, and Bob Citronberg was co-counsel. The Georgia Supreme Court agreed with Judge Shoob and ruled that the use of the electric chair constituted cruel and unusual punishment, Dawson v. State, 274 Ga. 327, 554 S.E. 2d 137(2001), thus becoming the first appellate court in the nation to do so. Subsequent jury acquittal of malice murder.

The State of Georgia v. Ammond Dunnigan, Fulton County Superior Court, Judge Hilton M. Fuller, prosecutor DA J. Tom Morgan. Successful death penalty defense of the leader of the DOOM gang.

The State of Georgia v. Ammond Dunnigan, Dekalb County Superior Court, Judge Hilton Fuller. Successful death penalty defense of the leader of the DOOM gang.

Barber v. Mississippi, 743 So. 2d 1054 (Miss. App. 1999) Conviction reversed on direct appeal.

The State of Georgia v. Demario Thomas, sucessfull death penalty defense in Dekalb County Superior Court.

The State of Georgia v. John Echols, successful death penalty defense in Dekalb County Superior Court.

The State of Georgia v. Wayne Coleman, Dekalb County Superior Court, Judge Hugh Lawson. Following the reversal of the original death sentences in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Coleman v. Kemp, 778 F.2d 1487 (1985), this Seminole County death penalty case was sucessfully defended in Dekalb County, Georgia by Mr. West and co-counsel Robert Citronberg. These cases were declared by the Governor to be the most notorious cases in Georgia history involving the murder of six members of the Alday family. (1989)

The State of Georgia v. James Walraven, Whitfield County Superior Court, Following reversal of the original death sentence, this notorious case, dubbed "The Bathtub Murders" case was re-tried by Mr. West and Don Keenan. On appeal the Georgia Supreme Court adopted the per se exclusionary rule for hypnotized witnesses, Walraven v. State, 255 Ga. 276, 336 S.E. 2d 798 (1985).

Weaver v. Jarvis, 611 F. Supp. 40 (N.D. Ga. 1985). Law suit for denial of medical care for prisoner.

U.S. v. Veteto, 701 F. 2d 136 (11th Cir. 1983) Federal murder conviction reversed on direct appeal.

Goodwin v. Balkcom, 684 F.2d 794 (11th Cir. 1982).Death penalty murder conviction voided in federal habeas corpus.

Farmer v. Lawson, 510 F.Supp. 91 (N.D. Ga. 1981). Illegal search case.

Daniels v. Zant, 494 F. Supp. 720 (M.D. Ga. 1980) Established right of prisoners to access to courts.

Roberts v. Greenway, 233 Ga. 473 (1975) Established standards for entry of guilty pleas.

Justice v. Board of Pardons and Paroles, 234 Ga. 749 (1975). Declared that the Georgia Parole Board can be sued.

Hardwick v. Ault, 447 F. Supp. 116 (M.D. Ga. 1978) Federal court declares that the punitive prison segregation unit at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Center violated the constitutional rights of prison inmates and shut it down.

Mullins v. Hopper, 242 Ga. 123 (1978)Guilty plea convictions voided for ineffective assistance of counsel where lawyers knew that Mr. Mullins suffered from mental illness but plead him guilty anyway.

Brooks v. State, 144 Ga. App. 97 (1977) Affirmed right to resist unlawful arrest, illegal search.

Byrd v. Hopper, 402 F. Supp. 787 (N.D. Ga. 1975) Federal habeas corpus victory.

Powell v. Hopper, 234 Ga. 68 (1975) Conviction voided in habeas corpus.

Holloway v. Hopper, 233 Ga. 615 (1975) Conviction voided in habeas corpus.

Fowler v. State, 132 Ga. App. 812 (1974) Conviction reversed on direct appeal.

Duncan v. Ricketts, 232 Ga. 89 (1974). Established that even the Parole Board had to follow Due Process.

State of Georgia v. Starks, Gwinnett County Superior Court (2015) Client found not guilty by jury in retrial of rape, kidnapping, aggravated assault, armed robbery case.

State of Georgia v. Foster, Gwinnett County Superior Court (2015) Client found not guilty of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and attempted armed robbery.

State of Georgia v. Bai, Gwinnett County Superior Court (2015) Client found incompetent to stand trial.

Sate of Georgia v. Coleman, Gwinnett County Superior Court (2014) Clients theft charges dismissed.

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