Click here to read original report from the Calhoun Times.
On July 19, 2007, Brandon Higginbotham was found guilty of the January 2006 murder of Pierre King.
Higginbotham was convicted of murder; two counts of felony murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Higginbotham was arrested shortly after the murder by the Southeast Regional Fugitive Squad after law enforcement officials received a tip from a concerned citizen that he was in Atlanta metro area, according to a 2007 Calhoun Times report.
According to Calhoun police:
Officers were called to King’s 105 Crest Drive residence on Jan. 9, 2006, to investigate a “shots fired” call. Witnesses identified Higginbotham as the gunman.
According to court documents King died as a result of gunshot wounds that perforated his aorta and injured his lungs.
Witnesses testified that Higginbotham was the former boyfriend of King’s girlfriend at the time he was shot.
Witnesses testified that Higginbotham entered King’s apartment with a 9mm handgun visible in his waistband and forced the former girlfriend to leave the apartment. According to witnesses, he and the woman struggled outside the apartment until the mother of the girlfriend intervened.
King then exited the apartment and fought with Higginbotham , witnesses stated.
Two women who had been sitting in a nearby vehicle identified Higginbotham as the gunman. One of the women said she witnessed Higginbotham firing three or four shots at the victim.
Higginbotham first filed an appeal with the Georgia Supreme Court in November 2009 and filed an extension in January 2010.
Higginbotham stated in his appeal that he did not receive effective assistance of trial counsel and that the state did not provide him with material and exculpatory evidence prior to trial.
In his appeal Higginbotham pointed out inconsistencies among expert testimonies.
Firearms experts testified that the bullet removed from King, and the shells found on the scene were made by two different manufacturers.
The bullet extracted from King was a 9mm Black Talon manufactured by Winchester. However, the four shells found on the scene were 9mm Lugars manufactured by Remington.
However, both bullet types were fired from a Hi-Point handgun.
Higginbotham also stated in his appeal that that King’s girlfriend was interviewed at the scene but never testified in court and that her on scene statement was entered into the evidence as hearsay.
It was determined by the Supreme Court that Higginbotham’s attorney’s failure to limit instruction to the jury did not in anyway affect the outcome of the trial.