Gard­high re­sen­tenced to 21 in prison

Judge Billy Sparks calls the rul­ing to va­cate the orig­i­nal con­vic­tion “a very un­usual part of Ge­or­gia law.”

The Standard Journal - - POLICE & FIRE - By Doug Walker [email protected]

Corey Demarcus Gard­high was re­sen­tenced to 21 years in prison Thursday for the beat­ing death of Paul An­thony Grady on Dec. 28, 2016.

Gard­high was orig­i­nally sen­tenced to life on a felony mur­der con­vic­tion but that was va­cated by the Ge­or­gia Supreme Court be­cause the same jury found Gard­high guilty of vol­un­tary man­slaugh­ter in­stead of mal­ice mur­der and the Supreme Court ruled that the vol­un­tary man­slaugh­ter con­vic­tion should take prece­dence.

Floyd Su­pe­rior Court Judge Billy Sparks called the rul­ing to va­cate the felony mur­der con­vic­tion, “a very un­usual part of Ge­or­gia law” and told mem­bers of the Grady fam­ily there was no choice in it.

Grady’s widow, Lucy Grady, and his daugh­ter, Karli Grady, both sub­mit­ted emo­tional victim im­pact tes­ti­mony dur­ing Thursday’s hear­ing.

Both how­ever, got up and left the court­room as Gard­high started to make his own re­marks, in­clud­ing a plea for mercy from Judge Sparks.

Lucy Grady told Judge Sparks that there was no re­lief from the pain of never be­ing able to even hope to see her hus­band again.

“He threat­ened my hus­band be­fore he came to the house,” she said.

Af­ter beat­ing her hus­band with his fists, in front of his own two small chil­dren, she said, hav­ing no idea any­one else was at the home, “he de­cided to leave Paul to die.”

Karli Grady told Judge Sparks, “I no longer have a daddy to walk me down the aisle on my wed­ding day.” She called Gard­high, an “evil hate­ful per­son who took my dad from me.”

Lucy Grady re­minded Judge Sparks that Gard­high beat her hus­band to death in a fit of rage over a $153 pay­check that was due him for work.

As­sis­tant District At­tor­ney Luke Martin said he be­lieved that Gard­high had re­ceived all the mercy he was due from the courts when the life orig­i­nal sen­tence was va­cated and asked Sparks to sen­tence Gard­high to the statu­tory max­i­mum of 20 years.

“I’m very sorry for what I did,” Gard­high said. He told Judge Sparks he was aware of the pain and hard­ships he had caused the Grady fam­ily but begged Sparks for a sec­ond chance.

Deb­o­rah Alford, who has known Gard­high since he was 14, told Judge Sparks that she had con­sid­ered Gard­high as one of her own fam­ily.

She called Grady’s death a “hor­rific thing that hap­pened,” but said that to this day, she did not believe it was re­flec­tive of the Gard­high she has known for most of the last two decades.

“No­body wins in sit­u­a­tions like these,” said de­fense at­tor­ney Ross Ham­rick.

Af­ter sen­tenc­ing, Ham­rick asked Judge Sparks to give con­sid­er­a­tion to the time Gard­high has al­ready served.

Judge Sparks said that would be up to the De­part­ment of Correction­s.

In sen­tenc­ing Gard­high to the statu­tory max­i­mum of 20 years for vol­un­tary man­slaugh­ter, plus another year for cruelty to chil­dren for beat­ing Grady to death in the pres­ence of his own two small chil­dren, Sparks said. “Twenty years for tak­ing another man’s life does not seem re­motely rea­son­able, it doesn’t seem right.” Sparks agreed with prose­cu­tor Martin in telling Gard­high that the court had al­ready shown him mercy by va­cat­ing the life sen­tence.

Corey Demarcus Gard­high

Judge Billy Sparks

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.