ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia Supreme Court says a man who's already served nearly two decades of a life sentence for a murder conviction is entitled to a new trial.
An opinion published Monday reverses Elliot Sheard's 1998 conviction in the stabbing death of Charles Elder. The court says critical parts of the trial transcript have never been found, effectively denying Sheard his right to appeal.
Sheard requested a new trial in October 1998. An attorney appointed in 2004 for his appeal discovered the transcript problems. Sheard was denied a new trial in March 2014 and appealed to the Supreme Court.
Sheard's attorney, Kyle Winchester, said the opinion is "important to the appellate process in the state."
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said he's trying to determine whether his office can successfully retry the case.