High profile cases decided by juries last week
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Grady County jurors decided two high profile cases last week, one a vehicular homicide and the other a drug case.
In the first trial, a jury convicted an emergency room nurse in the 2016 death of Makeacha Malise Butler. Butler died July 21, 2016 when she was hit head-on by a car driven by Robin Antoinette O’Neil-Wann who was convicted of two counts of Vehicular Homicide, one count of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and one count of Reckless Driving. Judge Kevin Chason sentenced O’Neil-Wann to serve 15 years in prison.
Prosecutor Mike Bankston told the jury O’Neil-Wann had socialized with friends at two bars in Tallahassee until approximately 1:30 a.m., and then drove on U.S. 319 into Grady County, at least 15 miles going north in the southbound lanes, causing many vehicles to dodge her. Ms. Butler, 43, was hit head on and died at the scene. She was survived by her mother and four children.
Chief assistant district attorney Bankston thanked eye witnesses who called in and were willing to testify. He said, “Ms. Butler’s family are in our thoughts and prayers and we hope disposition of this case will bring some measure of closure for them.”
The second jury trial began Wednesday, June 19, and was the case of Gowain Fontae Nixon. A jury convicted Nixon of Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Firearm during Commission of a Felony, Obstruction of an Officer, and Possession of Drug Related Objects.
Prosecutor Banks Smith, with assistance from Cairo Police Investigator Giovanni Santos and Officer Brandon Griffin, said on Aug. 2, 2017, Nixon was seen sitting in a car with a broken windshield and no tag. When approached by Officer Griffin, Smith said, Nixon fled the car and dropped a red bag containing meth, digital scales, marijuana, a handgun, cell phone and wallet.
Judge Heather Lanier sentenced Nixon to 30 years, 15 to serve in a state prison.