State’s high court reinstates death penalty in Hall County case

ATLANTA — The state's Supreme Court unanimously voted to reinstate the death sentence handed down to a man convicted in Hall County of the 1994 murders of his girlfriend and her friend.

Earlier this year, a lower court threw out the sentence against Scotty Garnell Morrow after finding that he was denied effective counsel during the sentencing phase of his trial.
 
But, in a decision handed down this week, Justice Hugh Thompson writes, “we conclude that trial counsel generally performed adequately and that the absence of trial counsel‟s professional deficiencies…would not in reasonable probability have resulted in a different outcome in either phase of Morrow‟s trial.”
 
According to the evidence, Morrow had been dating Barbara Ann Young for six months when she made him move out of the house after he beat, slapped, dragged and raped her. On Dec. 29, 1994, he called her but she told him to leave her alone. Morrow then drove to Young's home and entered without permission while Young was in the kitchen with friends, Tonya Woods and LaToya Horne.
 
Two of Young's children were also there.
 
Woods told Morrow that Young wanted nothing to do with him anymore, according to briefs filed in the case. Morrow then shot Woods in the abdomen with a 9-millimeter pistol, paralyzing her from the waist down; he shot Horne in the arm.

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