A lawyer representing a 60-year-old man charged with murder in the death of a man who plunged from a ninth-story window denies that her client pushed the man.
Attorney Cheryl Milton said Willie Frank Stanley and 36-year-old Robert Paulson didn't know each other, although both men lived at Kenilworth Manor Apartments, off Chambers Road in south Macon.
"He had no motive," she said.
Milton argued during a hearing Thursday in Bibb County Superior Court that it would have been physically impossible for Stanley to have pushed Paulson.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Paulson was nearly half Stanley's age and about double his weight, standing at least a foot taller, Milton said.
Since the window was equipped with a metal dividing bar, "Mr. Stanley would have had to literally pick him up and toss him out the window," she said.
A preliminary autopsy report doesn't reflect any defensive wounds or signs of struggle, Milton said.
She said Stanley, who lived on the fifth floor of the apartment building, was outside smoking a cigarette Dec. 17 when Paulson struck up a conversation with him, asking if he wanted to go get a drink.
The men went to a store to buy cigarettes before heading back to Paulson's unit on the ninth floor.
They were standing in the kitchen drinking wine when Paulson walked out of the apartment.
Stanley heard glass break and walked out of the apartment and down the hall to a window that had been broken, Milton said.
"He looks out of the window and sees that the deceased is lying on the ground."
Four or five men Stanley didn't know were standing around Paulson, she said.
Stanley went downstairs and outside, where he sat on a bench.
Milton said an anonymous caller reported an armed robbery in progress at the apartments.
"When they get there, there's the body lying on the ground," she said.
Prosecutor Larissa Olliverre said police talked with a maintenance worker from the apartments, who said he'd been with Stanley and Paulson earlier that day when Paulson told the two of them he had come into some extra money.
"He had gotten about $800 cash," she said. "We believe that played some role in this incident."
Another witness reported seeing Stanley standing over Paulson's body holding his wallet, Olliverre said.
Milton said Stanley doesn't know what happened to Paulson.
She said police discovered that Paulson's apartment had been broken into and vandalized after his death while Stanley was in jail.
The judge granted Stanley a $90,000 bond with conditions that he no longer can live in the apartments, abides by a curfew, doesn't have access to dangerous weapons or guns, and doesn't contact Paulson's family or witnesses.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398 or find her on Twitter@awomackmacon.