State Supreme Court upholds - WLTZ 38 | Columbus Georgia Regional News & Community

State Supreme Court upholds death penalty for man convicted in Columbus murder

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Ward Anthony Brockman (Source: GA Dept. of Corrections) Ward Anthony Brockman (Source: GA Dept. of Corrections)

By Sara Belsole

COLUMBUS, GA - "I held my husband in my arms, and he looked up at me and said, 'honey, please get them.'"

Mary Lynn says she promised her husband Billy she would get justice. And Monday, she is one step closer.

The Georgia Supreme Court voted unanimously to uphold the conviction and death sentence for Ward Anthony Brockman.

On the evening of June 27, 1990, the Premium Gas Station owner was in his office when he heard gunshots followed by squealing tires. He went outside and found Billy Lynn with a single fatal gun shot wound to the abdomen, $70 in his pocket.

"I sure do miss him. It's been 23 years and I wish he was here right now," Billy's widow, Mary Lynn, says.

Mary says she was at the gas station helping her husband that day, and saw Brockman and his friends come to the gas station multiple times. She says when she went home to fix Billy some dinner, the shooting happened.

Brockman was convicted in 1994, and given the death penalty because the murder happened while Brockman was engaged in the commission of another capital felony, armed robbery.

After Brockman's motion for a new trial was denied last year, his attorneys appealed to the State Supreme Court, arguing against the death penalty because Brockman was convicted of criminal attempt armed robbery, not armed robbery.

However, the court ruled Brockman was committing armed robbery, even if he wasn't successful.

With this ruling, Mary Lynn says she is hopeful things will start moving faster.

"I am tired of waiting," she says.

The ruling also addresses the 30 errors the defense alleges the State made during trial, calling them harmless errors. The court also says it disapproves of the length of time between the 1994 trial at 2012 request for new trial.

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