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Murderer will be re-sentenced because of court error

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While he’s still convicted of murder, a defendant who appealed his case will be re-sentenced because of an error in the original trial.

Dewayne Labron Reynolds was sentenced to life in prison plus five years for his involvement in the 2012 New Year’s Eve slaying of Willie Terry Slack on Kingston Avenue.

In his appeal, Reynolds contended there wasn’t enough evidence to convict him and stated the presiding judge “improperly commented” when instructing the jury.

The Georgia Supreme Court disagreed.

The fact that Floyd County Superior Court Judge Jack Niedrach left out “not” before the word “guilty” while instructing a jury was not the basis for the reversal of a conviction, the opinion stated, especially since the jury acquitted Reynolds on malice murder and a firearm charge.

Reynolds’ re-sentencing will focus on an aggravated assault with intent to rob charge which was originally merged with a felony murder charge.

The high court stated because prosecutors had to prove an intent to rob as part of the assault charge but not as part of felony murder, the charges should not have been combined by the court.

No sentencing date has been scheduled.

Reynolds was one of three men convicted in the killing of 56-year-old Slack.

Reynolds, Willie Lewis Dublin, and Darnell Labron Mitchell planned to rob Slack and huddled outside as they waited for him to leave his home and go to church.

They ambushed Slack and shot him then fled. Slack crawled onto his neighbor’s porch and died.

Dublin was convicted and sentenced to life without parole. Mitchell pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and drug conspiracy and was sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by 10 years on probation.