A Bibb County judge has granted a request for a new trial for a man convicted in a 2001 Macon murder on grounds that his due process rights were violated and new evidence has surfaced.
David Lee Hill was one of three men sentenced to life in prison in the Nov. 18, 2001, killing of 18-year-old Alvita Waller inside a house on Amos Street, located in the Pleasant Hill neighborhood.
Authorities alleged at least 10 shots from at least two guns were fired into the house, killing Waller and injuring a man inside. The shooting was in retaliation for another killing from the previous day.
Hill was 20 when he was sent to prison.
Prosecutors filed a motion Thursday asking the judge to reconsider his decision.
We respectfully disagree with the courts ruling, said District Attorney David Cooke. If the court does not change its ruling, well be appealing to the Supreme Court of Georgia.
Since Hill has been in prison, two witnesses have recanted their testimony, alleging that Macon police Lt. Carl Fletcher coerced them into saying certain things, according to the order signed Tuesday by Chief Macon Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge S. Phillip Brown.
Danny Jackson, 39, alleges Fletcher promised him a $3,000 reward and forced him to restart his audio recorded statement multiple times, deleting the recordings until the final one was made. He also alleges he wrote 15 to 20 versions of his statement until one met the detectives approval. In a January 2012 affidavit, Jackson also says he was under the influence of cocaine and alcohol when he testified at Hills trial, according to the judges order.
Jimell Bradberry, 31, also signed an affidavit saying Fletcher influenced his testimony and Hill didnt have anything to do with the shooting. Bradberrys affidavit accompanied a 2004 request filed by Hill for a new trial. A judge denied the request, saying the documents werent sufficient to constitute a motion, according to Browns order.
Chief Assistant District Attorney Nancy Scott Malcor said Fletcher did a very good job solving the case, and his work led to Hill and his two co-defendants receiving life sentences.
These same witnesses have been lying about him and about this case since 2001, she said. There is nothing new about these witnesses or what they are saying.
Bradberry and Jackson testified about Fletchers alleged misconduct during the trial, and jurors found them unworthy of belief, Malcor said. The jury didnt buy it.
She said the case was hard to prosecute because many of the witnesses were Hills friends.
The Georgia Supreme Court affirmed Hills conviction in 2004, Malcor said.
Contacted Thursday, Fletcher said, the evidence spoke for itself, and the jury ruled on the evidence.
Macon police responded to a request for comment saying, Lt. Carl Fletcher retired from the MPD in 2012 after 35 years of service as a law enforcement officer and highly respected detective. It is our understanding that the Bibb County District Attorneys Office intends to appeal this ruling, and we support that decision.
In his order, Brown also ruled that prosecutors violated Hills rights by not telling his lawyers about the existence of a witness, Jacksons cousin, who allegedly corroborated his alibi.
Shaneka Jackson, 35, says she was in her bedroom while Hill and others were at her house. She heard gunshots somewhere in her neighborhood before they left, according to Browns order.
In a March 20, 2012, affidavit, Jackson alleges Fletcher threatened her with a perjury charge if she didnt implicate Hill and others in the killing and offered her a DVD player if she did implicate them, according to the order.
If jurors had heard testimony from Jackson, it would have given more credibility to the defense, Brown wrote in his order.
The information in these affidavits would have literally produced a different verdict because the picture of the facts that the jury would have had with Shanekas testimony stands in stark contrast to the evidence actually produced at trial, he wrote.
Malcor signed an affidavit Wednesday saying she, as the lead prosecutor on the case, did provide Hills lawyer with a witness list including Shaneka Jacksons name, address, phone number, birth date and Social Security number. Accompanying the affidavit is a letter from Hills lawyer acknowledging receipt of the witness list.
In their motion asking the judge to reconsider his ruling, prosecutors note that they provided Hills lawyer with a copy of Jacksons statement to police in April 2002, several months before the November 2002 trial.
For the past two years, Hill has been represented by Atlanta lawyers Mark Yurachek and Stuart Mones.
Yurachek said it took years for Hill to be able to hire a legal team and for them to discover Shaneka Jackson. It also took time for witnesses to become willing to talk.
Their consciences take time, you cant force their conscience to kick in, he said.
Little evidence was presented at trial against Hill, Yurachek said. What does implicate him, how much of that is the result of people giving their honest testimony and how much of it is people making statements out of fear or attempting to satisfy a police officer who was making them feel threatened?
The physical evidence -- a hat found in the front yard of the Amos Street house -- contained DNA from both Hill and another person, he said.
Yurachek said he spoke with Hill after Brown signed the order granting him a second trial.
Hes excited, Yurachek said. Hes been patient this long, and hes willing to be patient for a little longer to see justice done.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.