Rickman v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
Victoria Rickman was convicted by jury of malice murder and a related firearm offense in connection with the shooting death of William Carter, Jr. Rickman and Carter had a tumultuous on-again, off-again relationship with a history of verbal and physical abuse, false accusations of sexual assault, empty threats to obtain temporary protective orders, and numerous calls to 911. In the days leading up to Carter’s death, the pair was talking and meeting again despite a recent break-up. On one such 911 call, officers went to Rickman's residence responding to claims shots were fired. Rickman responded holding her small dog, hair wet, and in pajamas. She did not appear to be injured, and nothing in the home looked disturbed or out of place. Rickman told the officers, “he raped me again and I shot him.” Officers found Carter laying face up on the bed naked with multiple gunshot wounds to his body. An autopsy revealed that Carter was shot ten times – four times in the chest, three times in the back, once on the arm, and twice in the head. Rickman’s examining physician testified that he found no injuries on Rickman consistent with her description of events, and no signs of trauma to her vaginal cavity. Rickman appealed her convictions, arguing she was denied effective assistance of counsel and that the trial court erred in admitting improper character evidence. Finding no reversible error, the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed.