Superior Court jury convicts Columbus man in 2018 attempted murder

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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — A Columbus man is facing more than 30 years in prison after being convicted of attempted murder in the 2018 shooting of a woman he knew. 

A Muscogee County Superior Court jury convicted 35-year-old  Mario Smith on six of eight counts. 

The trial started Monday and the jury reached a verdict on the attempted murder charge about 6:30 Thursday evening. Jurors were back in court Friday morning to decide a final count, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. 

It took the jury minutes to find Smith, who had a 2005 burglary conviction, guilty on that charge. That charge was not included in the first part of the trial because under law a prior conviction could taint a jury in the pending matter,

Smith shot Gennyce Turner three times in front of her 3-year-old son inside a Forest Road home on July 28, 2018. The woman survived and testified against Smith this week. 

Assistant District Attorney Nathan Stewart was the lead prosecutor. District Attorney Mark Jones sat second chair.

“Very proud of Nathan Stewart, my ADA on this one,” Jones said. “He did a bang-up job. We got the conviction. And Mario Smith won’t be able to hurt another person in our community like he did Genycce Turner. Shot her three times. She came to testify. She is very scared, and you could see in her body language she was terrified of this man and the jury believed her.” 

Smith was also convicted of aggravated assault, aggravated battery, second-degree cruelty to children, and two gun possession charges. He will be sentenced by Land Wednesday morning. 

“I think any case involving extreme violence is going to be compelling to the jury,” Stewart said. “This case involved allegations that have now been proven and a jury as found him guilty of shooting the victim three times, twice in the leg and once in the chest. And then he tried to smother her to death with a pillow.” 

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