Wonward v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
Appellant William Woodard was convicted of malice murder and other crimes in connection with the shooting deaths of two DeKalb County police officers, Eric Barker and Ricky Bryant, Jr. Although the State sought the death penalty, the jury recommended sentences of life without parole. Appellant argued on appeal that several jury instructions improperly undermined his defense of justification by lessening the State’s burden of proof, and he asserted that his trial counsel were ineffective in failing to object to the trial court’s instruction, tracking the language of OCGA 16-3-21 (b) (2), that a person is not justified in using force in self-defense if he is committing a felony. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed.