A Floyd County jury found a 19-year-old man guilty of felony murder but could not come to a resolution on the charge of malice murder in a 2018 Maple Avenue shooting.
Superior Court Chief Judge Bryant Durham ordered a pre-sentencing investigation for Keilan Laron Orr. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 19.
A judge can sentence a person convicted of felony murder or malice murder with up to a life term or a life term without parole. The difference between the two charges, basically, is intent. To prove malice murder a prosecutor must prove the intent to kill, but to prove felony murder they must prove the victim’s death occurred during the commission of a felony.
Prosecutors say Orr went into the home of 37-year-old LaMario Majors on Maple Avenue and gunned him down.
Orr admitted he shot Majors in a videotaped interview with Rome police detective Kyle York, presented Thursday by Assistant District Attorney Mary Beth Gregoire. His attorney David Lee Lumpkin of the public defender’s office claimed the act was one of self-defense.
Orr told police he was afraid the older man was going for a gun.
“I pulled my gun out. He started reaching, so I shot him,” he’s heard saying on the videotape.
He did not testify in his defense.
Majors was unarmed and two women — one who was at the home and another on a video chat with Majors — testified in the case.
But two witnesses testified that a gun was found nearly three months later, tucked deep into the underside of the sofa bed where he had been seated.
“It was Keilan who entered Mario’s place of residence and started this fight ... Keilan barged right in there, opened the door and shot him. He didn’t have to do it,” Assistant District Attorney Luke Martin told the jury on Thursday.
During the trial, Dr. Natasha Grandhi, an associate medical examiner with the GBI, testified that her autopsy showed two bullets entered Majors’ body. One ended up in his thigh. The other went through the back of his arm into his chest — indicating that he was turning away from his attacker — and passed through his lung and part of his heart before stopping in the other lung. He died in the hospital five days later.
There was testimony during the trial showing Orr believed Majors had stolen something from him.
A Floyd County Superior Court jury started deliberations at around 2:30 p.m. on Thursday but was unable to reach a verdict until just after noon on Friday.
In addition to felony murder Orr was convicted on charges of aggravated assault, aggravated battery and possession of a firearm during a crime.