The Georgia Supreme Court says a former Barrow County magistrate judge convicted on a murder charge can get a new trial. Paul Hamilton was found guilty in October of last year for the 2015 murder of his nephew. Hamilton is serving a life sentence for the death of Brandon Lay. The Supreme Court says the judge in the trial that was held in Winder made mistakes in directions given to the jury in the case.
The Court upheld the ruling of trial Judge David Motes, who said he believed he'd made mistakes in rulings during the trial. He also described himself as the "13th juror" in the case and didn't believe the evidence presented at trial supported a conviction.
Motes, now retired, had been a judge for more than two decades. He told Hamilton he determined “a new trial is consistent with the principles of equity and justice. … I cannot end my career with what I believe to be an injustice.”