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Killer's double jeopardy claim rejected by Ga. Supreme Court

Killer's double jeopardy claim rejected by Ga. Supreme Court

ATLANTA -- The Supreme Court of Georgia has rejected a convicted murderer's claim that his right against double jeopardy was violated.

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Jason Pierce killed two college students and shot his girlfriend in the face on Aug. 26, 1999. He pleaded guilty in 2003 to aggravated assault and two counts of malice murder, and received two consecutive life sentences without parole.

In 2011, aggravating circumstances forced the state's high court to throw out Pierce's sentences. The case was sent back to a lower court. Pierce withdrew his guilty pleas, then argued that retrying him would be double jeopardy.

At least 3 shootings reported in Atlanta overnight

At least 3 shootings reported in Atlanta overnight

ATLANTA -- Atlanta police reported at least three separate shootings in the city early Tuesday.

RELATED | 1 dead, 2 hurt in Monday evening shooting

The first shooting happened at around 12:30 a.m. at an apartment building on Daniel Street in northeast Atlanta.

Atlanta Police Capt. Todd Coyt said a man was shot in the head. He was alert, conscious and breathing after the shooting, and was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital.

The shooting is under investigation. Coyt said police do not yet have a description of the suspect.

The second shooting happened about an hour later at a home on West Avenue near Roy Street in southwest Atlanta.

Coyt said the victim was shot in the stomach and was also alert, conscious and breathing. No other information was immediately available.

Man found shot to death downtown

Man found shot to death downtown

ATLANTA -- Police found a man's body in downtown Atlanta Tuesday morning.

The victim was found at around 4 a.m. on Elliott Street, not far from the Georgia Dome.

Atlanta Police Capt. Paul Guerrucci said a person walking through the area found the body and called police.

The victim is a man who appears to be in his mid-20's. Guerrucci said he has not been identified and investigators do not yet have any suspects in his death.

Woman's appeal denied in daughter's murder

Woman's appeal denied in daughter's murder

ATLANTA -- A woman convicted of murdering her 8-year-old daughter has had her appeal rejected by the Supreme Court of Georgia.

Valerie Carey and her husband Christopher were charged with killing daughter Quimani in a downtown Atlanta extended stay motel on Jan. 18, 2004.

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Carey pleaded guilty on all counts to avoid the death penalty. She later appealed the conviction, saying she was mentally ill and therefore should not have been allowed to plead guilty.

The state Supreme Court on Monday unanimously rejected the appeal and upheld Carey's life sentence, writing that "Carey's challenge to her guilty plea fails, and we affirm the judgment of conviction."

Consultant pleads guilty in APS kickback scheme

Consultant pleads guilty in APS kickback scheme

ATLANTA -- A Kennesaw man has pleaded guilty to being part of a kickback scheme involving Atlanta Public Schools.

Mahendra Patel admitted in federal court that he conspired with APS chief information officer Jerome Oberlton to benefit from a certain firm receiving a $780,000 computer project from the school district.

"Patel subverted the fairness of the contracting process for his own benefit and ultimately undermined the trust taxpayers place in APS to provide high-quality educational services," U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a statement.

Oberlton pleaded not guilty in federal court in June. His trial date has not yet been set.

Seven men sought for Sweet Auburn Curb Market ATM robbery

Seven men sought for Sweet Auburn Curb Market ATM robbery

ATLANTA -- Atlanta police are looking for seven men captured by surveillance cameras as they used a Dodge minivan to pull off a bold smash and grab.

One of the suspects nearly foiled the getaway.

"They were amateurs," said Gerald Boyd, who works security for the Sweet Auburn Curb Market. "Looks like it was not professional, but it was effective."

At daylight, shop owners at the Sweet Auburn market arrived to find the minivan still lodged inside the building. Most were unrattled.

"I came in, saw the van was here, that nobody was hurt," said shop owner Dionne Gant. "I had to send a message that they didn't stop us."

Surveillance video captures the first of seven suspects arriving outside the market at 4:44 a.m., Tuesday. After casing the building, a white Dodge Caravan arrives. The driver parks and waits for two other vehicles that would serve as the getaway cars.

Ex-APS official faces kickback charges

Ex-APS official faces kickback charges

ATLANTA (AP) - A former chief information officer for Atlanta's school system accused of accepting bribes in exchange for his influence in awarding a technology contract has pleaded not guilty.

Jerome Oberlton entered his plea in federal court in Atlanta Tuesday. A federal grand jury handed down a seven-count indictment last week naming Oberlton and another man, Mahendra Patel, in the bribery scheme. Patel also pleaded not guilty.

The indictment says the two accepted $60,000 in kickbacks from an information technology company that won a contract worth more than $700,000 from the school district.

Oberlton served as chief information officer for Atlanta schools from 2004 to 2007. Oberlton joined the Dallas school district in January and was working as chief of staff. He resigned last week after informing the superintendent of the investigation.