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2 sentenced in South Ga. Judicial Circuit

The South Georgia Judicial Circuit sentenced two men as courts began to resume trial, according...
The South Georgia Judicial Circuit sentenced two men as courts began to resume trial, according to a press release from the office of the district attorney.
Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 10:02 PM EDT
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SOUTH Ga. (WALB) - The South Georgia Judicial Circuit sentenced two men as courts began to resume trial, according to a press release from the office of the district attorney.

Mitchell County:

The April term of Mitchell County Superior Court convened on April 27.

The first case for trial by Assistant District Attorney Banks Smith was Ricky Simmons Jr.

Simmons was found guilty of felony murder, armed robbery, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

The release said evidence showed that between March 21-22, 2019, Simmons caused the death of Wayne Lamar Smith by shooting Smith with a pistol in Pelham.

Simmons was sentenced to life without parole in the state prison system plus 25 years by Judge Kevin Chason.

Prior to trial, codefendant Brady Nichole Vaughn pleaded guilty to armed robbery. Vaughn received 30 years serving 15 years in the state prison system.

“I am extremely grateful for the diligent and hard work of all law enforcement and impaneled jury in helping to give some justice to the family of Wayne Lamar Smith,” said D.A. Smith.

Decatur County:

The May term of Decatur County Superior Court convened on May 12.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Michael Bankston prosecuted Enrique Martinez whose trial began May 11.

The release said with the assistance of the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office and the Oak House, evidence showed that on or about Feb. 6, 2019, Martinez raped a female child forcibly and against her will.

He was also found guilty of aggravated child molestation and sodomy by committing an immoral and indecent act to a child under the age of 16, with the intent to arouse and satisfy the sexual desires of himself by having sexual intercourse with the child.

Martinez was found guilty at trial by Judge Kevin Chason and sentenced to life with the possibility of parole on the rape conviction, life with 25 years to be served in the state prison system, and a balance on probation concurrent with the rape sentence on the child molestation conviction.

At sentencing, the defendant asked for forgiveness and said, “I am a bad man,” according to the release.

Bankston commended the children who testified for their bravery, as well as the investigators, deputies, and experts who put the case together.

“This sentence was justified but can not compare to the life-long agony pressed upon the victims of this pedophile,” said Bankston.

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