MOULTRIE, Ga. — On Monday, Kalvin Suggs was denied an appeal in the Georgia Supreme Court for his 2017 conviction in the murder of Tony Harrison.
His appeal had listed five points of contention to be reviewed:
- Insufficient evidence to support convictions.
- Denial of his pretrial motion for individual jury interviews.
- A racially charged preemptive strike of character.
• Illegal submission and obtainment of evidence.
• Denial of effective assistance of counsel.
All claims have been denied as grounds of sentence reversal or mistrial which were some of the main objectives of the appeal.
Harrison and another man were involved in a fight with Suggs inside a nightclub early in the morning March 1, 2015, authorities said at the time. After the nightclub staff cleared the building, shots were fired in the parking lot and Harrison was killed.
Suggs was originally convicted of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and three counts possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Only the two murder counts and the two counts of weapon possession were considered at sentencing while the others were vacated. Suggs was sentenced to life in prison for the two counts of murder along with two five year consecutive terms for the two weapons charges.
Suggs’ trial had been eventful from the beginning. Originally his defense had reached a plea deal prior to his trial. He was intended to plead guilty to manslaughter charges, which he would face up to ten years for.
After the plea bargain had been arranged, he was placed under house arrest until his sentencing. He was monitored through a tracking device on his ankle, but he violated the terms of the court order and was subsequently arrested.
His trial began the week of August 16, 2017 and was almost immediately postponed. Suggs’ defense argued that Superior Court Judge Brian McDaniel was unfit to try the case. McDaniel had previously been a prosecuting witness in a previous case involving Suggs while McDaniel was an assistant district attorney. Superior Court Judge James E. Hardy took over the trial.
Throughout the trial, evidence including a key witness testimony from Kaysha Trim, a voice recording of Suggs and his friend Patrick Pridgen conversing about the homicide and crime scene photos were all used.
The crime scene photos and the voice recordings were initially argued during the trial to be insubmittable by being obtained illegally or irrelevant to the trial. This was again brought up as part of Suggs’ appeal.
Suggs is currently serving his life sentence in the high security Macon State Prison located outside Oglethorpe, Georgia.