The Georgia Supreme Court has upheld murder and armed robbery convictions but thrown out a burglary charge against one of the two men sentenced to life in prison for the Dec. 5, 2008, slaying of 78-year-old Richard Boynton Jr. of Columbus.
Christopher Young was 25 in September 2010 when Superior Court Judge John Allen sentenced him and Patrick Satterfield, then 21, to life plus five years in prison on charges that included murder, armed robbery and burglary.
The state Supreme Court upheld Young’s convictions for felony murder and armed robbery, but decided the trial court erred in sentencing him for burglary, the underlying offense upon which his felony murder conviction was based. So that conviction was thrown out.
The case stemmed from a police call to investigate a door left standing open at Boynton’s Burnside Drive home. Inside officer found the Vietnam veteran fatally shot in the chest. The home appeared to have been burglarized.
“He did two duties in Vietnam where he lost partial hearing,” daughter Debbie Boynton-Edmonds said of her father. “Who would have thought he’d lose his life in his own home?”
The prosecution’s star witness was the defendants’ getaway driver, Dominic Tinch, then 18, who told jurors Satterfield called him about a “job.” around 5 p.m, Dec. 5, 2008. Tinch said he thought they would commit a burglary where a resident had money in his home.
Tinch dropped Satterfield off near the house, picking him up about 10 minutes later. Satterfield then told him that someone had been inside the home, said Tinch, who picked up Young after Satterfield. Tinch said prosecutors granted him immunity from prosecution in the murder case. He already had pleaded guilty to a September 2008 home invasion, admitting to robbery, burglary and aggravated assault. Satterfield and Young were arrested in September 2009.