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Accused murderer guilty of robbery

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

ALBANY, Ga. -- Jordan Harris, the man accused of killing former Lee County Commissioner Walter Phelps, has been found guilty of two armed robbery charges.

The verdict came down in Dougherty Superior Court at about 11 a.m. Thursday.

Harris, who faces the death penalty in connection with the shooting death of Phelps last July, had been on trial since May 10 for unrelated robbery charges stemming from a series of incidents at Flash Food stores in the Albany and Leesburg area during early 2009.

Larry Gatewood, Dominque Nelson and Ryan Richardson were also indicted along with Harris on charges they were involved in the crimes. Gatewood, Nelson and Richardson have already been convicted.

Harris was arrested for those charges by the Leesburg Police Department on March 6, 2009.

The jury had been deadlocked in its deliberations since about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, but on Thursday morning prosecutors moved to have a holdout juror replaced by an alternate.

That juror was replaced, and the panel returned to its deliberations.

Harris has yet to stand trial for the shooting of Phelps. Prosecutors contend in that case that Harris shot the former commissioner and businessman in the shoulder as he was opening his hardware store on the 2500 block of North Slappey Boulevard on July 3.

Harris was arrested for the shooting by the Albany Police Department later that month. On Aug. 7, officials confirmed that Phelps, 67, had died.

Harris will be sentenced on the robbery charges at a later date.