Grace v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
In April 1991, Appellant Allen Grace and Willie Parris entered a grocery store in Thomas County with the intent to rob it while Appellant’s uncle stood watch outside. A store employee, Anthony Justiss, was shot once in the head and died; another employee, Warren Jackson, was shot twice in the head, leaving him blind in one eye. Appellant and his accomplices took the cash register and a cash box and fled to Grady County, where Appellant opened fire on two police officers, shooting one in the face at point blank range. A grand jury indicted Appellant for the malice murder of Justiss, aggravated battery and aggravated assault against Jackson, and armed robbery, and the State later filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty. Appellant, who was represented by two attorneys, entered a negotiated guilty plea in exchange for the State’s agreement not to seek the death penalty. Appellant was sentenced to consecutive terms of life in prison for murder and armed robbery and a total of 40 consecutive years for aggravated battery and aggravated assault. Almost 20 years later, Appellant filed a pro se motion for out-of-time appeal which was denied on grounds that Appellant did not meet his burden entitling him to the appeal. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed the denial of Appellant's motion.