The man convicted six years ago of murdering a Veri Best Donut baker will not get a new trial, a Muscogee County Superior Court judge ruled Monday.
Tracey Terrell McKay, 41, was convicted in 2006 of fatally shooting John K. "Sonny" Thrash, who worked at the Talbotton Road business. Jurors found that McKay was the triggerman and shot Thrash during a robbery.
McKay appealed, arguing his trial counsel Alonza Whitaker, now the circuit's chief assistant district attorney, was ineffective. Judge Frank Jordan Jr. heard arguments last week on the motion for a new trial, ruling Monday that McKay's arguments were without merit.
Attorney Bill Mason, who now represents McKay, said he'll appeal.
"It's very difficult to win a motion for new trial," Mason said. "We'll just take it up to the Georgia Supreme Court and ask them to reverse it."
Mason argued that Whitaker failed during the 2006 trial to pursue witnesses who pointed to another man as the killer. Mason also claimed the trial prosecutor improperly referred to McKay's right to remain silent.
Jordan disagreed on both counts.
"At the hearing, defendant failed to prove that trial counsel was deficient in failing to introduce the purported confessions of other individuals," Jordan states. "The statements alone were not reliable, could not be corroborated and did not match up with the evidence from the crime scene."
Contacted Wednesday, Mason said one man gave details of the robbery and shooting that jurors never heard.
"There's no excuse for not getting that into evidence," Mason added.
The appeal must be filed within 30 days. Mason estimated the high court could rule on the appeal within a year.