ALBANY, Ga. — The Georgia Supreme Court announced Monday that it had upheld the murder conviction and life in prison sentence of a Dougherty County man.
Nathaniel Taylor was convicted in 2006 of gunning down Lewis Anthony West on Oct. 21, 2005.
West, 31, was shot in the stomach that afternoon in a vacant lot on Dervan Street, and died at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital later that day.
Taylor, then 20, was arrested on Oct. 24, 2005, in connection to the case.
Taylor’s appeal to the high court was based on the argument that he had ineffective counsel in the trial and that the judge erred in failing to instruct the jury on circumstantial evidence.
Prosecutors said the case was solid, noting that Taylor was implicated both by a cellmate in the Dougherty County Jail and by a “dying declaration” from the victim himself.
Taylor’s appellate attorney argued at a hearing in May that the only direct evidence offered was from the cellmate, which wasn’t credible.
Before he died, Lewis told a bystander and a police officer that he had been shot by “Freddy B” or “Reddy B.” “Reddy B” was Taylor’s street name, prosecutors have said.
Police also said that witnesses recalled seeing a man they knew as “Main” in the area during the shooting. Prosecutors say that “Main” was the street name of Taylor’s co-defendant, Marquel Wooden, who was arrested shortly after Taylor.
Wooden was 21 at the time.
Prosecutors also said West had robbed Taylor of marijuana several weeks before the fatal shooting.