The Georgia Resource Center
Promoting a Fair and Reliable Criminal Justice System in Georgia

Resource Center Wins New Trial for Mentally Ill Macon County Man

On Friday, March 28, 2014, the Georgia Supreme Court granted a new trial to Resource Center client Artemus Rick Walker, convicted and sentenced to death in 2002 for the murder of Lynwood Gresham in Montezuma, Georgia, in 1999.  The Georgia Supreme Court's decision affirms the judgment issued previously by the habeas corpus court, which heard extensive evidence of the onset of Mr. Walker's mental illness in adolescence, its progression into Mr. Walker's adulthood, extending to the time of the crime, the trial and the present day.  The Supreme Court agreed that Mr. Walker's original trial attorneys failed to marshal and present to the trial court readily available evidence of Mr. Walker's long-standing and severe mental illness, despite the lawyers' awareness of their client's psychological instability.  The Court acknowledged that Mr. Walker's degree of mental illness rendered him incompetent to stand trial in 2002.  Should the state choose to retry him, it may only do so if Mr. Walker is mentally competent to understand the charges against him and to assist his attorneys in his defense, the Court said.