Abernathy was granted a new trial after the judge ruled there was a conflict of interest between him and his public defender, Charles Brown. According to records, Brown was a prosecutor for the city of Helen and had prosecuted Abernathy on a DUI charge in May 2007 and obtained an order banning Abernathy from the Southside Bar.

Abernathy’s current attorney further argues “the court also erred in failing to grant the motion based on 20 additional grounds, including Brown’s failure to investigate and present as a defense Abernathy’s significant history of mental illness and brain injury as a young child, and Brown’s failure to object when the State injected that Geren and Abernathy had a homosexual relationship.”

The state, however, is arguing that Abernathy did receive proper legal representation and that he does not deserve a new trial.

Photo: Samuel Mitchell Abernathy (courtesy Georgia Department of Corrections)

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