Superior Court Judge James G. Blanchard Jr. denied a request by an Augusta man, convicted in a fatal 2008 home invasion, for a new trial at a Thursday hearing.
In August 2009, a jury found Karmbi Octavious Young, 23, guilty of murder, armed robbery, burglary, kidnapping, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and possession of marijuana. He was the first to be tried of five Augustans charged in the Sept. 24, 2008, shooting death of Rickey Gibson, 33, of Grovetown. Blanchard sentenced Young to life plus 70 years.
Young and four others – Patrick Antwon Booker, Martin Napoleon Holmes, Willie Bernard Butler, and Garland Ray Pittman – were accused of killing Gibson.
Authorities say the men broke into the home Gibson shared with his girlfriend and their infant son. Gibson’s girlfriend said that the masked men held them at gunpoint, put a gun in the baby’s mouth, threatened them and shot at her before fatally shooting Gibson. His girlfriend escaped with the baby.
Police arrested Young shortly after the incident in a car with Patrick Booker near Pumpkin Center.
“I deserve a new trial,” Young told the judge. “I’m doing life in prison for a crime I didn’t commit. I never held that man’s life in my hands.”
Young admitted being on the street at Gibson’s home, but denied going inside. No scientific evidence was presented at the trial to prove he was in the yard or home.
Young’s attorney, Edgar Calloway, argued that the show-up, where Gibson’s girlfriend identified Young and two others as her attackers through a window at the Grovetown Department of Public Safety. He said the show-up, not a full line-up, was a “dangerous, difficult and suggestive proposition.” He said her identification of Young and the subsequent trial testimony concerning the show-up should have not been allowed into the trial.
Calloway also said that Gibson’s girlfriend was “tipped off” about the show-up and that the time frame between the incident and the show-up was too long, more than two hours.
Assistant District Attorney Madonna Little said a Grovetown Department of Public Safety investigator accused of telling Gibson’s girlfriend about the show-up, denied doing so at the trial. She also said the show-up was done as quickly as possible.
The “repulsive actions of others” – attempted burglary and attempted car-jacking committed by Butler and Holmes after the home invasion – also shouldn’t have been allowed as evidence because it was relevant, Calloway said.
Little argued that the evidence at those crime scenes connected them to Young, Booker and the Gibson home.
Young can proceed to appeal his conviction through the Georgia Supreme Court.