COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – A day after a Muscogee County Superior Court judge rejected a murder plea deal in his court, the prosecution moved to get the case back into the trial court.
Judge Bobby Peters would not accept a plea bargain that would reduce a murder charge to involuntary manslaughter. The rejected deal would have cut the sentence from life in prison to four years.
Today, 18-year-old Anthony King was re-indicted by a Muscogee County Grand Jury and the case will move toward a Nov. 4 trial.
If the case had gone to trial this week, the prosecution likely could not have made the case for murder. So, the district attorney’s office had to put another option on the table.
That option is involuntary manslaughter.
When this case is tried — and it will likely go in front of a jury before the year’s end — jurors can now consider the lesser charges.
Peters told the attorneys in open court that he would take King’s plea of involuntary manslaughter, but would not agree to the 10-year sentence with four to serve that had been worked out.
In addition to the new involuntary manslaughter charges, King is also charged with felony murder and aggravated assault in the 2017 shooting death of 19-year-old Tremaine Taylor on Henson Drive.
Though she won’t talk about King’s case specifically, District Attorney Julia Slater says her office will often indict on the most serious charge. And she does not apologize for that.
She used the analogy of a hypothetical drug case where the choice is possession of cocaine and possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute.
“We would not charge with possession with the intent unless we had evidence that we think is beyond a reasonable doubt that the person possessed with the intent to distribute,” Slater said. “However, that gives us the option if we think it’s appropriate to reduce that charge at the time of the guilty plea. Or the jury can reduce it for us at trial.”
The 18-year-old King has been in the Muscogee County Jail for 565 days. Prior to that he was in the Regional Youth Detention Center.