Gold teeth may be grounds for new trial in Cobb County

Two men serving ten years for an armed robbery in Cobb County may get a new trial.

Their attorney successfully argues race bias after a prosecutor dismissed a potential juror for gold teeth.

"We are entitled to have a jury that people have not been excluded because they're members of certain races," attorney Ashleigh Merchant tells Channel 2 Action News.  "You can't get around that by saying, 'I'm going to exclude this person because they have gold teeth.'"

While the trial judge agreed with the prosecutor's contention that the dismissal was race-neutral, a state appeals court finds the judge erred.

"They can strike them for any reason, but they have to got to be able to put on the record a race-neutral reason," Merchant tells Channel 2's Ross Cavitt. "You can't strike jurors for sex, you can't strike jurors for race. And those are things that the court, clearly with this opinion, holds very dear."

Duvalle Minor and Robert Clayton have already served more than five years of a 10-year sentence for a 2011 armed robbery off Franklin Road.

The Cobb County District Attorney's office files a motion to ask the Georgia Court of Appeals to reconsider.





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