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Acworth Murder Goes to Supreme Court

A man serving life in prison for his wife's stabbing death is appealing to Georgia's highest court Monday.

A man convicted of stabbing his estranged wife 183 times outside her Acworth home in 2004 is appealing his murder conviction before the Georgia Supreme Court on Monday.

Donovan Shane Leger, also known as Donavon Leger, is serving life plus 20 years in prison for aggravated battery and murder in the death of Tracy Leger on Sept. 6, 2004, according to state Corrections Department records.

Tracy Leger’s brother, David Bumbalough, found her body outside the home they shared on Proctor Landing in Acworth after putting her 9-year-old son on the school bus that morning.

Evidence at the trial indicated Donovan Leger had a history of violence against his wife and made many phone calls to her home and her cellphone on the last night of her life. A baseball cap found by her body had his DNA inside and her DNA outside.

Leger also had a “God Forgive Me” tattoo and a book about surviving as a fugitive.

He was convicted in November 2007 and has been in the Macon State Prison since Jan. 22, 2008.

Should Donovan Leger's murder conviction be overturned? Tell us your ruling in the comment area below.

In his appeal, Leger argues that the state failed in its responsibility during the discovery process to hand over evidence in a timely manner.

Even though the trial was more than three years after the crime, the prosecution didn’t tell the defense about the hat DNA evidence until five days before trial. The defense didn’t learn about cell-tower data indicating that Leger made phone calls from a site close to his wife’s home until after the trial began, and the defense argues that the prosecution was late submitting an updated witness list.

The defense also says the judge was wrong to admit prejudicial evidence about the tattoo and the book, Fugitive: How to Run, Hide and Survive, and to let four witnesses testify about what they said Tracy Leger told them about violence by her husband.

The prosecution’s response:

  • It handed over evidence as soon as possible and did not try to ambush the defense, so the judge was right to admit it.
  • The hearsay testimony about what Tracy Leger said about her husband’s violence was appropriate because it explained the motive for murder.
  • The photo of the tattoo was relevant because Leger got it after the slaying.
  • The information about the book was admissible because it was open on a coffee table “as if someone had been reading it.”

H. Maddox Kilgore is representing Leger before the Supreme Court. The offices of both Patrick Head and Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens are arguing for the state.

The case is part of the 10 a.m. court session Monday.

jayme morgan January 23, 2013 at 06:42 PM
why let a man out when he kills my mom he deserves to stay in prison

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