WARNER ROBINS -- The Georgia Supreme Court has upheld the murder conviction and life sentence given to one of the men who killed a Warner Robins teenager three years ago.
The ruling upholding the 2012 conviction and sentence of Marquis Torez Lowe was published Monday. Lowe was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole plus five years for his role in the slaying of 19-year-old Dajohn Milton.
Milton was found lying in a dirt path between Cedar Pointe Apartments and Savannah Apartments in Warner Robins on March 20, 2011. He had been shot multiple times behind a burned-out building and left for dead.
In a separate trial in 2012, Trey Lorenz Dinkins was convicted of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime in connection with the killing. He was sentenced to life in prison plus five years to serve consecutively for the firearms charges.
According to trial testimony, Lowe and Dinkins, both of Warner Robins, had set up a drug deal with Milton that they actually intended to be a robbery. When Milton resisted, Dinkins shot him with the .380-caliber pistol. When Lowe saw that Milton was still alive, Lowe took the pistol and shot Milton again.
Milton was able to identify Dinkins as one of the shooters to a witness who found him lying in the pathway. Milton suffered massive internal injuries to the heart, lung, liver, and spine and died hours later. He had been shot nine times. It was his birthday.
After the shooting, Lowe and Dinkins were seen hiding two pistols near the murder scene. Two pistols were recovered, one of which was later determined to be the .380 used to shoot Milton. Cellphone evidence also linked Lowe and Dinkins to both Milton and the scene of the shooting.
In his appeal to the state Supreme Court, Lowe contended that the evidence against him was insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was guilty. He questioned the credibility of jailhouse witness Blaine Arnold and contended that there were no eyewitnesses or forensic evidence that placed him at the scene of the crime. Arnold testified that Lowe told him while both were in jail about how he and Dinkins had set up Milton for a robbery and how both he and Dinkins shot Milton.
The Supreme Court found that the fact that the evidence against Lowe was largely circumstantial did not render it insufficient.
Justices also rejected Lowes other contentions that bullet casings and projectile evidence was not collected properly by police, that the court should have suppressed evidence related to the recovery of a .40-caliber weapon, and that Lowe was not provided with effective counsel.
Jeff Grube, a Warner Robins attorney who filed the appeal, said he has not had an opportunity to review the ruling and may consider appealing the decision after he does.
Lowe is serving his sentence in Valdosta State Prison. Dinkins is serving his punishment in Telfair State Prison.
To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.